Thursday, March 8, 2018

Follow Peace

We ate dinner with this family this week and she had a framed piece of white paper that said "Follow Peace". I asked her about it because it looked like her 2 year old drew it, and I really liked the way it looked. She said that was her and her husband's motto for their marriage together. Whenever they were going through a hard time or trying to make a big decision, they remembered to Follow Peace.

I think God knows the way we need to go, but He also knows that we're strong enough to get there by making our own decisions. 

This week we skyped with Fernando and taught him as he drove to Burley (ughhhh BURLEY). We were like "oh hermano, we can skype with you when you park so you're not driving!" and he was like "meh esta bien" and put the phone on his dashboard while he drove. So we prayed for the spirit that he wouldn't catch some black ice and crash and taught him about the Book of Mormon. 

Jorge sent us a text this week with a video of the ocean that wrecked me a lil' but also sent us a picture of him at Church! It's good to have some good homies around. 

This is Hermana Sundstrom's last week on the mission and we're gonna light it up here in Twin for the win for the swim 

stay safe braddahz! stay warm! where you stay? 

lots of love,
Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

recharge, golden sleep

This week I got a new mattress from the Mission Office and can I just say that ish is like sleeping in the celestial kingdom. thxxxxxx for the prayers and tips friends

Fernando came to Church again this week - he's been pretty difficult to teach because of his work schedule, but he puts real attention into Church. Hermana Sundstrom and I taught the Gospel Principles class and we talked about Sacrifice, how sacrifice is still a part of the gospel and the different sacrifices we make today. Afterwards he explained how learning about the gospel has made a difference in his life and how he's really considering making some big changes. He's been praying and pondering about joining the Church and accepting the Savior's invitation to follow Him. 

Our Branch President texted us on Monday night and said he had a family that he wanted us to meet. We met up with him at the Church building and followed his car to a part of town we had never been to before. We found the family at home and taught them and the Branch President promised them that if they'd listen to the message we brought, their lives would be changed. Later that week, Hermana Sundstrom and I decided to go back to that area and felt like there was someone there we needed to find. It was 10 degrees out so we bundled up good, hyped up with a prayer, and set out to knock some doors. The second door we knocked was Eduardo - he recently moved here from Mexico with his wife and young son. We taught them about how the gospel will bless their family and how we have prophets here on the Earth to lead and guide us. 

I'm grateful that the spirit guides us when we're listening to it (and even takes away the cold...sometimes lol). Hermana Corona loved watching the District ("the Robles family was a...referral...a referral from the Ward!") and I keep thinking of those Elders that are having a hard time in their area, that say when it gets to the point you can't go anymore, just go a little more, and the miracles will come. I feel like I've hit a brick wall 100 times here in Twin, and this week we knocked it down a little (with God's help). 

Hope your week is ballin' my papayas :))) hit me up if you need anything! homies can be together forever! 

<3 Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

flannels + jamba juice

aye fam

This week I've been working on being happy. I think I'm happy through jamba juice, flannels (even tho it's 10 degrees outside) and Jesus. 

stay fly

Lots of love,
Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

I'll carry your worrrrrrrld

I'll start off with the good ono kine grindz that happened this week:

- We're teaching this new guy named Fernando and he came to all 3 hours of Church for 2 weeks in a row
- We also got to take Fernando to a baptism and he said, "Wow, it's so cool to see other people's examples of doing good things that I can follow..."
- Hermana Flora made us some good Venezuelan food
- We drove into the country and I missed my Burley dayyyyzzz and the smell of cows 

So I'm sitting in Noodles & Company because we couldn't find a dinner (and reminiscing about spending all my dayz with Em in Provo and Arenui) and I haven't been able to shut my mind off this week. I can't stop thinking and can't stop worrying and I've been more stressed than I think I ever have been on my mission. It's interesting because at the beginning, I couldn't speak Spanish, I couldn't remember anyone's names, I didn't know my way around, was struggling to get to know the Branch in Burley and all of our investigators, and now I'm at this point where I know how to do all of these things - you'd think it would get easier, right? I'm continually surprised by this journey because when things seem like they should get easier, when you've got a handle on what you're supposed to be doing, they just get harder. 

When I first got on my mission, I didn't know anything about missions. I didn't know about transfers, about District and Zone Leaders, about where you lived or where you went to Church or how much time we spend sitting down. I didn't know (although I did expect) the amount of stress you experience when you try you hardest to help others find peace and comfort and it doesn't seem to work; I didn't know that would be such a journey for ME to find as well. 

Anyway I'm sitting in Noodles & Company and pretty much just crying to Hermana Sundstrom because I can't really figure out what's wrong or what I can do to fix it. I'm praying and praying and praying and praying (and this Coldplay song comes on, the Lord KNOWS mah neeeeeeeeds) and finally this morning I found that little slice of peace I was looking for. 

I've been shown a great amount of love from family and friends - I haven't been able to sleep for a long time now and got some coping mechanisms that have helped a lot. The Familia Aguilar let me cruise on their couch for a little while and gave me some bath salts and magic Mexican tea (lemme tell you those bath salts are friggin' incredible, I felt like I was in the ocean lol), I received a sound machine that makes like the sound of rain when you sleep, and a bunch of essential oils from Hermana Sundstrom's mom. I've been able to sleep not through the whole night, but a whole lot better than before. The Gutierrez family invited us over for dinner and let us chill at their house with Fernando and watch a movie with them (anyone seen the Cokeville Miracle?) and I relaxed on their couch and ate 500 starbursts. 

We were able to go to the temple this morning and President Bartlett asked me what I've learned while we were standing in the Celestial Room. I told him that I've learned that even though I'm constantly confused and have all these questions about the gospel, about life (which is stressful in itself when you're teaching people each day about the purpose of life), that I've been able to feel that peace from God and hold on to that. When I don't understand something and I'm feeling horrible, I've been able to focus on that feeling and find ways to be happy. And that always comes through love. 

I bought some Mexicoke for this week's weekly planning session and am still looking for my purpose here in Twin Falls. I'm more than blessed to have family and friends who always help me with emails and letters and prayers and good thoughts and vibes. I know we experience these moments of crap and rough patches to make us stronger and to help us realize that God loves us more than anything. 

Love you lots fam. Sorry for the confusing email haha you know meeeeeeeee sorry for being crazy
Stay happy, have a great week - love you all more than the ocean 

Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

the boys are back in town

This week has been a ride. I can't sleep at all and have had a killer headache for 3 days so keep me in yo prayers plz (also if anyone has any sleeping tips? I've tried exercising and meditating a lot but I guess I'm overstressed idk lol help) why is life so hard?

We were real stressed out this week and our zone leaders left ben & jerrys and a pizza on our front door. #bless then we got transfer calls and Hermana Corona went back to Boise and Hermana Sundstrom and I will be here in Twin Falls (for our 4th transfer together!). We knew it was too good to be tru (you can't have a brown companion for more than 2 transfers I guess) and it was one of the saddest goodbyes I've ever had to say. 

Me and Hermana Sundstrom have been finding some new people in Twin Falls, we're ready to kick her last transfer in the crap. We got locked out of our apartment on our first night together so we went and spent the night with some sisters and I keep saying that I miss camping so I guess blessing in disguise? We got to sleep on couches and eat some goob french toast in the morning though so the Lord is looking out for us. 

I've been struggling with figuring out why I'd still be in Twin Falls and what I need to do here. We found this cool guy named Fernando who came to all 3 hours of Church yesterday and I'm excited to do missionary work a lil different and find out what I can do better. I read this quote from a book that my Aunty sent me and I can't remember who said it, but this is it -

"The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." 

I talk about this all the time, but this week I was reminded that I'm a missionary and I'm me. You don't give up yourself to  become a stronger disciple of Christ - you add to who you are and you make a better you. And for some reason, someone in Twin Falls needs crazy Hanatea to knock on their door and talk to them about good stuff? Lol. Finding reason and finding purpose, one day at a time. I love this work - even through the headaches (send some mexicoke) and tired eyes and heartache and tears, we go through these small trials and the Lord knows what it's like and how we're feeling. 

Hope everyone's week is full of good grindz. Love you all friends stay hapy go eat some froze yogurt k byyyyeyeyeyeyeyeye

hawaiian roller coaster ride

Last night, Hermana Corona said that she's Lilo and I'm her Nani, we just don't have a Stitch...or a David. I'm gonna be sad to leave this girl - we get transfer calls tomorrow, we'll see what happens, but we're not counting on the Lord letting us stay together for another transfer. We been havin' too much fun - 2 bless to be tru

Also Sister Hansen showed us where to get the best cookie I ever did have that has coconut frosting and you squeeze a lime on the top huuuuuuuuu boi so ono we ate like 12

Last night we taught a new investigator named Fernando. As we finished the lesson, we asked to kneel in prayer with him. He was a little apprehensive about saying the prayer so we offered one and he offered the next. In his prayer, he said, "thank you for letting me get to know these Hermanas and for the things they taught me tonight - they're all really new things, but they feel good." I'm so grateful for the way the gospel makes us feel and how it fills you up with love.

This morning, Meg, one of our friends here in Twin, took us on a run with her dog to go see Shoshone Falls. It was nice to be outside and breathe real air and not have houses surrounding me and made me really grateful to be serving in Idaho. (Idahome? not quite....but close!) it's good to have braddahz and dogs and water and feel God in all the shades of brown (lol). 

Sending lots of love from the mainland, keep me in your prayers k thnx always need 'um. Love you fam! 

<3 Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

one year no beer no fear

A year ago this week I made a super scary choice and walked into the gates of the MTC in Provo Utah and didn't know what I was getting myself into. Little did I know that the people of Burley, Boise, and Twin Falls Idaho would change my life. A year in the mission has helped me grow in ways that I didn't know I could and learn things I didn't know I needed to. 

Me and Hermana Corona are counting our blessings (these will guaranteeeee be the last weeks we have together) and keep saying that we've been 2 bless to be together in this incredibly hard area. We've been yelled at, rejected, our faith has been challenged, but we still laughing and eating good food, still doing happy. HOW? Idk man. But we is. And it feels good - we haven't had a ton of people to teach, we've found an overwhelming amount of new Hispanics in the area, but none of them have wanted us to come back. But it still feels good. 

President Bartlett said this week that "Repetition is the soul of learning." We've been trying things that we know in this area, things that have worked in past areas, and we've figured out ways to improve and keep learning. Our motto for the transfer has been BE PREPARED TO TEACH THE PREPARED. Me and Hermana Corona feel like we're the best missionaries we've ever been in this area (still with lots of faults and lots of improvements to be made and lots of broken-ness) and have been working hard to work with members and improve our teaching skills to be more prepared. 

We were lucky enough to see some good foooooood from our preparation this week - we taught a new investigator named Diana. She's really intelligent and knows the Bible like the back of her hand - she's grown up with religion and has a strong testimony of God. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and we both agreed that it was one of the worst times we've ever taught it; we stumbled on words, we couldn't find the scriptures we wanted to, her daughter was screaming, we brought a member and didn't have her say much, it was a wreck. Like getting pounded at Hukilau during the winter. In the middle of the Lesson, we started talking about Jesus and it caught on a little, we started doing a little better and at the end of the lesson we invited her to be baptized on February 17th. She accepted our invitation - we were in shock but I guess God is real and let her feel something from our crazy words, something that was real and true and good. 

Sometimes we feel like we're drowning and can't breathe; when we're at our lowest, we stick through it, do our best, and have hope that God is still there helping us along the way. Sometimes it takes a long time for the malasada at the end of the rainbow to come, but it does. I promise.

Love you long time friends. Email me if you need anything <3

Hermana Hanatea Elkington