Monday, August 21, 2017

Happiness is in your BLOOD.

Aloha my mangoes! We had a pretty sweet week - when we first got to Boise, we felt like we were crawling. By the second transfer, we were stumbling along, and this third transfer, we are running. And it feels SO GOOD to run. I've been pretty happy, and that feels good too. 



This week we started up an English Class at the Chapel and Fredy (our investigator from Columbia) came and brought his 3 Columbian friends. We had a great English lesson with them and then on Wednesday night, went on splits and taught a ton of lessons - one of them was with these 4 Columbian guys and they want to be baptized and love the gospel. Pretty sweet right? They're hilarious. We were going around in the English class saying one thing that we like to do and one of them said, "I like to drink beer." Classic. 


We got to help Caroline, Hermana Berna's daughter, get baptized this week. She was super excited and it was super last minute, so the program didn't run as smoothly as it could, but every time I get to see someone get baptized, I think of our braddah Jesus and how cool it is that we have this opportunity. We taught Cecy and the Cortes boys this week, and she said to me, "I know you can't baptize me, but if you could I'd choose you, because you're from Hawaii and have a lot of experience in the water" hahahaha

Also Birthday shoutout to SALA MCCARTHY STONEX #22BEBBEHHHHHZZZ


Love you all! Thank you for your prayers and loves and loves and loves. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you, cuz you've helped me more than you know. 


Lots of love,
Hermana Elkington

PICS:
1 - Fire-station tour on P-day
2 - My firefighter friend PARKER
3 - Caroline's baptism
4 - WATCHING THE ECLIPSE #IDAHOOOOOO
5 - Lost in Boise

Hanatea wants a musubi but is still happy in Idaho



Aloha!!



The Spanish Sister Missionaries of Boise Idaho had a pretty dope week. Charlene got baptized this week! It was a beautiful service - she was this ball of energy and happiness before she got in the water, and her entire family came (which was a pretty big miracle). The Quezada's bought her a dress for her confirmation because she didn't have anything to wear, and she was SO CUTE and waved at us as she was confirmed in Sacrament Meeting. I'm pretty dang stoked for this little girl. She's pretty special to us - he smile and laugh has helped us each week. I'm so happy that she has the gift of the Holy Ghost and I know that she'll get so many blessings from making this decision! 


We met with the Familia Cortes this week as well they continue to amaze. We went into their new house (they had to move because the lady they lived with before was treating them horribly) and they had their 3 books of Mormon laid out on the table in their trailer! As we taught them, the Mom, Cecy, told us that Ramon has been saying that he really wants to be a missionary (and serve his mission in Hawaii hahaha). They will be baptized at the end of this month. We had a great lesson with them and I felt Spanish flow like it NEVER has before - I was able to teach in a way that I've never experienced and it was pretty darn amazing. 

We were walking around in their trailer park one night and Ramon and Mario drive up in this little car and start chasing us down - when they caught up to us, we joked with them about not having a licence to drive and they just laughed and laughed. They remind me of myself and Little - two brothers that are 3 years apart and do everything together. I feel really blessed to have been able to know them and share the gospel with them - Cecy keeps telling us how much HAPPIER her family is now and how much better her boys have been doing. 

And that's what our message is, right? It's a message of how to be happier - a message of peace and healing and of love. 

The whole week I've been talking in Spanish but with an accent like someone from Columbia (we just found 2 new investigators from Columbia) and I can't stop. Send help asap. Here's to being a little happier, EXCITED about missionary work, and being grateful for these crazy as eff (sorry) experiences you have on your mission. I love & miss you all! Write me if you need anything! 


Lots of Love,
Hermana Elkington

We're not stuck. There is Traction.

Aloha FAM!

I learned a crapton of stuff this week. In Zone Conference, I learned exactly one thing (over the 6 hours of sitting there and talking about stuff, I took one thing away from it lol). President Bartlett said, "We're not stuck. We keep moving forward. We're not stuck; there is traction." I loved this - the night after Zone Conference we went home, I sat there in the basement that I live in and hate, and decided to not be stuck. I CHOOSE to not be stuck - I will move forward, because there is traction. 

Lately I've been feeling frustrated with the area we've been given. Let me tell you, covering 7 STAKES is not easy. We've been trusted with the entire Spanish area here in Boise and, at times, don't know how to handle it. We've been teaching a lot of people who aren't progressing, we don't always have the support of the Spanish Branch here, and we've been struggling to try and help members be excited to help with missionary work. It has been sooooo tough. But ever since I've made this decision to move forward, to get out of this hole that I've been stuck in, I've been happier and been wanting to be here. I've decided that no matter what challenges I face, no matter what CRAP we deal with on a daily basis, no matter how rough the situations are of the people we teach, I won't let it phase me like I did. No matter what my companion is feeling, no matter how hot it is, no matter how many times we don't have Branch Council and no matter how many appointments cancel on us, I choose to not let it phase me. Because I choose not to be stuck. 

This week we took a box of chicken to our lesson with Zuleyka and Charlene and Angel. We've never had such a powerful lesson with them! We talked about prayer, and I felt the spirit so strongly and I thought holy holy. We need to bring a box of chicken to every lesson with them. Charlene is all set to be baptized this Saturday, so we'll see how it goes. 

La Familia Cortes never stops amazing me - Cecy has decided not to work on Sundays and Ramon, her son, just got a job in Construction and told his boss he can't work on Sundays because "I need to go to Church." I sat with the 2 boys in Sunday School and translated the lesson for them (the youth classes are mostly in English in the branch) and they are always so excited about learning and they love the gospel. 

One thing I've loved about teaching the gospel in Spanish is how simply you can explain things. I've been able to be bold and been able to be simple in ways that I could never be in English (mostly because my Spanish isn't to hot hahaha) but I've loved the moments where we've taught simple Gospel Principles and people's eyes just light up and they understand what we say. It's a pretty mean feeling. 



Thank you for ALL THE LOVE. I feel it in my heart all the way down to my toes (even though I can't wear slippahzzz hahahaha). I'm so happy to be back at it and not be on the ground anymore! Also here's a pic of me and Hermana Carmen and Derek (me and Derek my HOMESLICE have the same birthday!) 

Lots of Love,
Hermana Elkington

P.S. We were studying at the public library and I saw the Hunger Games in Spanish and it was "los juegos del hambre" and it made me lauuuuuuuughhhhhh 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

"White-out can't erase your FAITH!"



Aloha Fam! This has been quite the week in the self-finding journey and the dealing with crap journey. Some good things happened and some bad things happened. It's been interesting how it's been evened out lately. 


First off, someone paid for our lunch at Costco. Thank the church members of Boise Idaho x1000000 (lol I always write about someone paying for the foods). Also we discovered AMITY and I love it up there - so full of grass and dirt and real stuff. 

Second, something I really learned this week was the importance of asking good questions. Something Hermana Allen always did in lessons was stop, listen, and ask really good questions to our investigators. As I've been a missionary, I've been confused about a lot of things - I'm always confused about what's going on in the Book of Mormon, in my studies sometimes I have no idea what's going on in what I'm reading, and at District Meetings, other missionaries are talking about an experience and I'm like whoa - that's a thing? SO - I've learned that if you're confused, just ASK. I wish I would have done this more while I was growing up, because all you have to do is ask! I remember always sitting in Sunday School and in Seminary and it seemed like everyone else knew exactly what was going on, so I was toooooo shaaaaame to ask any questions. THIS IS THE WORST. You should always feel free to ask and it's a part of the learning process. 

I've been really homesick this week, and I can't figure out why. It's been really weird - should get easier as you get further in, right? I guess not. Something that Aunty Sarah wrote in a letter to me really stood out, and I remembered some important things. 

"Calm down and remember that God's got all of this. All of it is in His hands." 

As I knelt at my bedside and prayed this week, I just cried. I cried because for some reason, I didn't want to be here. And I don't know why - I love these people! I love Idaho! I love Boise! But there is this weight in my heart that I hate. But I remembered that Jesus Christ knows how it feels to be homesick - he knows what it's like to just want to eat breakfast with my Dad and to just want to laugh with my Sister. He knows what it's like to be frustrated and to be sad. This is what we teach as missionaries. This is the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. "All of it is in His Hands." And so when we come across these rocks in our hike, He helps us get around them and jump over them and throw them out of the way. 



I hope everyone's doing cherrehhhhh. I love you all! I remembered this week all of the support and love I have back home and in other parts of the world - I am inspired by you and the people around me and who have been a part of my life have helped me more than they know. Let me know if you need anything! If you love me, shoot me an email! Tell me about your life! 

Keep smiling, keep laughing, keep juicing. lol. 

Lots of love & goob foods,
Hermana Elkington

P.S. For breakfast this morning I ate a bowl of oatmeal with a can of root beer and realized that I am a combination of my Mom and Dad in one person. Lol. 

Juicing

Someone send me some workouts cuz I'm gaining weight like a freaking walrus (not joking) we've been given ice cream like every day this week from members (bless their hearts). 



I've never felt so Mormon in my whole life. I listened to MOTAB yesterday and actually like 12% of me liked the song? What's going on? Who am I? What am I? There's no turning back. Send help ASAP. 

But in all seriousness, I love being a missionary. There are things about it I don't love, there are people that are hard to get along with, there is difficult leadership and a constant feeling of inadequacy and ALL THAT JAZZ but I love it. Yesterday I was reminded how happy it made me - guess who came to Church:

        - Charlene and Angel! These kids make my day every time I see them. They love reading in the Book of Mormon, love spicy Mexican candy that I forreal can't handle, and are always happy to see us. 

         - La Familia Cortes! Mario and Ramon came again and guess who showed up with them:                    THEIR MOM CECY. She worked extra this week so that she could get work off on Sunday and she loved it. The boys had fun as well and got invited to go on a campout this week! 

The Spanish Branch here welcomed our investigators with open hearts and open, loving arms. It was SO COOL to see how loved these people were, even when the Branch had just met them that day! And again and again, I am reminded that the gospel and Missionary work is about LOVE. That's it. It's just love. There's so many dumb rules, so many dumb missionaries, and some crazy freaking people here in Idaho, but I'm here to love and to share love. 

Here's some things that made my week:

- Hna. Quezada showed me a pic of Rachel and Abby Shumway performing in Utah or something! I love those girls!
- I saw a license plate that said "Got Rice" 
- IT RAINED

Lastly, our Ward Mission Leader told us to chill out on P-Days and go "juicing," where you each bring a lawn chair, bring some juice, and sit and cruise as a District. I'm the biggest believer that you gotta take some time to just remember that you're okay and that the World is a beautiful place *Boise hippies gettin' to me*

Love you all, let me know if you need anything or have any questions! If you love me, write me back! #JESUSFORIDAHO

Lots of Love,
Hermana Elkington 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Free Pandas for Everyone!

Haiiiiiii Fam! How are your lives?

We've been busy as crap, which feels super good. We come home and just get all floppy and die and go to sleep early because we're so exhausted. Highlight of the week: a member paid for us at Panda! BLESSSSSS

Guess who came to Church! Mario and Ramon! It was so cool to see them there - they seemed to really enjoy it and the Spanish Branch welcomed them warmly. We talked to them afterwards and asked them what they learned, and Ramon said, "Well, pretty much all the same stuff you've been teaching us!" And I was like *yusssss I can kind of speak Spanish jajajaja* and we joked and laughed and it was great. They feel like family to me. 

I got to play my uke at a Relief Society thing and all the old ladies came up to me afterwards and said "Sweetheart, you have such a beautiful voice!" and I was showered and overwhelmed by old lady niceness. Also, the priesthood representative guy who was there was the spitting image of Shawn Spencer and asked me, "So, if one was going to plan a trip to Hawaii for a friend, what would one recommend doing while there?" and I felt like I was in an episode of Psych. 

We have plans of getting a bike rack this week so we will be ballin' in Boise soon enough. 

One of the people we work with, Hermana Cevallos, had lots of questions about the Plan of Salvation and getting sealed in the Temple, and I didn't have any answers for her which was frustrating. I started my own search in my studies this week and have been praying and hoping for answers, but haven't found a lot. When it comes down to it though, I know that what I feel is right. When I have that feeling of peace and love, I know God's gonna work it all out and sometimes, we just don't need to worry. 

We also started working in our new area, with one of the Elder's old investigators named Roy. He and Paola have a little baby named Jared who is the cutest bundle of honey bunches of oats I have ever seen - we taught him one lesson, but we love his family so much already. 


Hope everyone has had a great week! If I can help you with anything, or if you have any questions, shoot me an email! I love to hear from you and know what's going (and what's not) in your life. 

Lots of super happy joy,
Hermana Elkington

No chill in Boise


Aloha mi primos! 

Here's how I've seen the hand of God in my week:

- I got another Watermelon
- Hna. Sundstrom knew I love 4th of July more than anything and made me a little flag
- We got the privilege to teach 6 new investigators
- I got a Dairy Queen Blizzard and was reminded of BURLEY (also Hall&Oates was playing)
- Our 1st counselor in the Branch talked about Lion King in his Sacrament Meeting talk
- Our Ward Mission Leader's wife knows the SHUMWAYS


So if y'all know me (#youknowme) you know I freaking love 4th of July. And I was about to die because I wasn't gonna be able to jump in the water this 4th - but I had some wonderful people make up for that, and my day was just golden. We got to have a BBQ and hang out with the one and only Elder Price and Elder Burgess and play Redneck Life with them (loling), got to ride bikes, and I made Hna Sundstrom lay on the grass with me at 10pm to watch some fireworks. I think Heavenly Father was full on taking care of me and it was pretty gosh dang bueno.

Here's my transfer news - I get to stay in Boise with Hermana Sundstrom! Super stoked - we not only have our old area, but a whole new area to work in! So we get to whitewash half of Boise and keep the other half! They took the Spanish Elders out of the area, so now we are officially the only Spanish-speaking missionaries in all of Boise. I feel pretty trusted by the Lord and am still kinda thinking braddah my braddah can we really handle TWO areas? Our area covers 7 stakes and it's a little overwhelming, but I also feel blessed with this new opportunity to work even harder. We've already found new people to work with and joke that we are like the Sister AP's because we get to go wherever we want heh. 

Hermana Sundstrom gave me my favorite compliment I've maybe ever gotten haha - she said to me, "You're suuuuper chill but you say deep stuff all the time without even meaning it!" She then told me that she loves how I share my testimony with people through the things that I love to do, and that I share my testimony by being who I am. I was so touched by this - I've tried SO HARD to incorporate who I am to the mission work and share with people this gospel that has meant so much to me and made such a difference to me, and I was crazy cool to hear this coming from my companion. 


Lastly, I was reading in the Ensign about the first branches that were started in South Aftrica (when apartheid was still a thing) and how the branches were a mix of different people who had different cultures and different views. I thought it was beautiful how they handled their differences:
    
         "They opened their misunderstandings to discussion and improvement - they listened and learned from one another's differences."

I loved this! I think if we have misunderstandings or issues with the gospel or the church, or how things are run or ANYTHING, we need to be open enough and willing enough to resolve these issues. We need to be open to "discussion" and "improvement" and learn from one another and accept one another's differences. This is 100000x easier said than done, and it's something that I've been trying to do better - but I thought it was sweet. 

I love you all and hope you had the bombest 4th of FREAKING JULY ever. Keep on loving! Keep on chilling! Keep on cruising + working hard! 

Lots of super happy amor,
Hermana Elkington