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

LOTS OF LOVES,
Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

manapuanapunaaldkadnfadkl

We've had a cherreh week friends - me and Hermana Corona have been doin' happy and jammin' here in Twin Falls.



This week we taught one of our investigators, Graciela, about the Restoration of the Gospel. She's a real slow learner, so it took us about 8 times to teach the whole lesson (we try to see her once every other day) and it's improved our teaching skills but most importantly our loving skills. Everyone has their own time, everyone has their own difficulties and challenges - she's got a lot right now, and it's been cool to apply those teachings of the gospel into her own life. She learns a little slower than most people, but she understands that we have a prophet today. It's been cool to have someone in the area accept this message of hope & love and be willing to read the scriptures with us and come to Church.

Monica and her family, some homie members in the branch, made us Hawaiian food this Saturday fullkine with the manapuas and kalua pork and rice and I died. I also got Otai on an exchange to Sister Hall's area this week and the guy that gave it to us was all swearing at his dog to get out of the house and mixing kava and I felt more at home than I ever have lol. 

We were able to watch a Devotional from President and Sister Uchtdorf this week - he talked about not worrying about your future and putting your trust in the Lord because He knows the big picture (and we don't). It was good to hear & see and I felt pretty at peace with whatever's gonna happen with my life. Want to make a foodtruck in Hawaii and sell some ono foods? Go for it. I think God cares about that kinda stuff - if it's important to you, then it's important to Him. This is some of the really cherrehhhhhh knowledge that I've learned on my mission - just a strengthened relationship with God and Jesus and knowing that they love me no matter what crap I pull. I think they're stoked when I get a break from the mess that's around us and go longboarding for a bit, as long as I'm still loving others and know when it's time to get back to work. I feel that. 

Love you all fam :)))) Thanks for the love and emails and prayers. Someone go listen to the Shins for me plz. Keep ballinnnnnn''''''''


<3
Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

one love

Here's some things that made my week! 

- Some members drove us around and we heard "Mi Gente" w/ beyonce
- We've been role playing each week and feel the spirit each time
- We bore our testimonies at Church to start the year off right
- We got a friiiiiggggggin' smartphone
- I got a Christmas card from the Tuellers with a selfie of Uncle Jim


This week I learned to get over some fears and ask for a priesthood blessing to help me out with feeling more at peace. In my blessing, Heavenly Father told me that He's proud of me and knows that I'm working hard - He said that I'm right where I need to be and that I'm becoming better and changing each day. I got an email last week about taking steps to relieve stress and anxiety from TK and I decided that this was what I needed to do. Immediately after the blessing I felt a peace enter in my heart that was even better than the cinnabon we had just bought that day - my soul is happy and growing to accept what I can't control. 

Me and Hermana Corona tracked down some longboards today and are going longboarding and juicing, so here's to happiness. I'm really missin' the ocean right now, so keep me in yo prayers. Thankful for the love I feel around me and the good vibes that we be makin' in Twin Falls - thankful for you and your love! Hit me up if you need anything! Email me if you love me! 

LOVES,
Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

Jesus our Brother, Strong and Good

Christmastime brings all these weird memories like Mom singing to Whitney Houston's Christmas album and playing in the flooded fields with all the stray dogs in Laie. My Aunt sent  me this cool wreath made of rosemery that she grew in her garden and I was reminded of when my Sister got these rosemery essential oils for my Dad and he was all like "yeeeeeeeee now I can smell like a chicken all the time!" We've been listening to so much Vocal Point and Pentatonix that I feel like I'm living in freaking Pitch Perfect and thank goodness that I have the Oh Hello's Family Christmas Album to remind me of the good ol' spotify days and good music-sharing homies. 


Christmastime also brings all these weird questions, like why does everyone in Twin Falls seem to be so grumpy? Have I really gained that much weight, or does it just seem like it because I have to wear like 6 pairs of leggings (unfortunately, I don't think it's the latter...)? What was the name of the donkey that carried Jesus? Did he get the credit he deserved? 

As I've tried to take Hermano Quezada's most golden advice during this season of snow and ice and sliding into stop signs and getting dropped by investigators on Christmas day, "learn to swallow sadness like a boss," I've found the more meaningful things around me, like caroling with good friends and learning to make tamales, and have loved to spend the season serving my God. It was a blessing to talk to family and laugh and hear my Sister's voice again. I'm reminded that I truly do love this work, as hard as it is! Why do I love it? Why do I love walking all over Twin Falls through the snow when our car is in the shop? Why do I love people not wanting us to come back? I dunno mannnnnn, but there's somethin' about it. 

Sister Hansen sent me a letter with a talk in it from Christmas and in it, it says,

"Christmas is about Christ coming to Earth for all of us, living or dead. But although it is easy for us to worship the precious baby, the importance of the Christ is his example in ancient Israel, His suffering in Gethsemane and Golgotha, His sacrifice, and ultimately, His death and resurrection. So in this world all die, but in Christ, 'All are made alive'. He was the one that suffered...and by his stripes we are healed."

I think my favorite thing to teach people about the Gospel is that through Christ, our families can be together after this life. We invite people to come unto Him each day, whether that be through healing a relationship with a loved one, quitting a bad habit, shoveling your neighbor's driveway, listening to some good Christmas music, whatever. You find your way to be happy. As you heal others, you heal yourself. 

Lots of Love this time of year fam. Hope everyone's doin' happy and staying warm and drinking lots of eggnog 

LOVES & LOVES & LOVES,
Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

don't look back braddahz


This was a good week of feeling at home and being happy. Up and down always? Not sure how healthy this is. Me and Hermana Corona visited some good families this New Years - the Aguilar's had us over to listen reggaeton and eat some good foods and Hermano Aguilar told us how thankful he is for us for being fun and laughing with his family. I think the best way to feel the spirit sometimes is to laugh and have fun with family and friends. At MLC the heater was broken and we were all wrapped in blankets and friended each-other on facebook (we are turning into a smartphone mission soon) and it felt like we were all cruising in a living room together. 

We've gotten a lot of advice about teaching this week and we've been wondering how we can teach better. Hermano Gutierrez and his wife took us out at 8:30 on Friday for tacos and we practised teaching them the Restoration at the restaurant and I've been wondering how I can be better. How do we teach more like Jesus? We love like Him - and as we do this, we increase our joy. We sacrifice, we serve, we love, we judge not, we have patience, and we are filled with the warm, cinnamon french toast feeling that fills you to the brim and leaves no space for bad thoughts or sad hearts. It embraces you like the homemade tortilla on your midnight burrito. As we've practiced teaching with love, we've felt more love in our own service.

This has been a pretty incredible year. I entered the MTC on January 18th of 2017 and here I am in Twin Falls Idaho, happier than ever (through all the crap and snow and wind and irrits, but still happy). Don't look back! Don't go back! Move forward & go to the beach! #dawnpatrollllll (one day...) 



I'm thankful for you love. Someone go eat some chicken katsu for me. 

LOVES,
Hermana Hanatea Elkington

CHRIS


Highlight of the week, we had a great lesson with Chris and he's the only reason I'm still alive here in Twin Falls. (Reminder of Chris, he's 17, just moved here from Costa Rica and went to church in Nicaragua with his Grandma when he was little) We invited him to the Naylor's house for a lesson and had some great real talk with him, and talked about all the challenges he's faced in his life. 

We go to Church on Sunday and pick him up, he gets out of the car and is in this super fly black button-down shirt and got his chains on and even changed his earring to a little cross for Chruch. He sprays some cologne on and is like "well, I gotta smell good right?" and we just laughed and cruised with Chris at Church! We sat in the back with him in Sacrament meeting and he was like "this is really long" and I was like "yeahhhhhh" but he gave some really good comments in Gospel Principles and I know he felt more comfortable in the Spanish Branch. It's been a while since we've had some people come to Church, and it was just a good reminder for me of how happy the gospel can make you and the good people that come into your life because of it. 

Have a dope Christmas my friends! Keep Hanatea in yo prayerz cuz I not built for diz kine winter! Love you all loads,


Hermana Elkington 

I am a rock. I am an island. *merry christmas!*

Aloha Fam, this was one of my favorite weeks on my mission! Doesn't stop going up and down right? "This was the worst day of my life!!" ---> "THIS WAS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!" 


One of our investigators, Rosa, drove us to a Christmas Concert called "Come to Bethlehem" and we cried together and felt some good Christmas feels and ate a lot of bread. It was way cool and I think It's so sweet to just be good friends with people on your mission. We got to just spend a night cruising with Rosa which I think is valuable as we teach the gospel - we like to cruise too! 

The Luna Family, a Spanish Family the Buhl Elders were teaching, got baptized this week and me and Hermana Corona were able to teach the Restoration at the baptism. Afterwards Hermano Luna got up and bore his testimony of gratitude about how happy the gospel has made him. Elder Baccarini gave a short, simple talk about the Holy Ghost and how it guides us to make the right decisions and how it comforts us in times of need. It was a sweet day. 

 We got permission from President to go to Buhl and contact the Spanish families that live there! I drove up to downtown Buhl with Sister Reisinger (we went on exchanges) and I am in love with that tiny town. It felt like home (except cold as balls. sorry for my non-missionary language. can't help it). We knocked on some former investigator's doors and were welcomed in warmly by several families and shared the Light the World video with lots of people. They were so grateful for us to stop by and said, "We don't know why the missionaries just stopped coming!" We'll see what we can do to get Spanish missionaries back in Buhl. I realized that it's pretty much my dream area ....merry christmas to Hanatea?? *pllllzzzzzzzz*

The Gutierrez family also had us over for dinner yesterday and we just hung with them, it's always good to find those good homie members that are just good to the missionaries. Hermano Gutierrez just got back from his mission in Mexico and had tons of sweet stories to tell us and we laughed and had some good foods. 

I am reminded every day that this season is about love. I've seen so much love from others on my mission and so much love shown from the Spanish Branch here. It's frustrating a lot of the time being on a mission - it'll always be frustrating. But we learn to handle that frustration with grace and love, and then focus on the really important things, serving others with our hands and with our feet. 

Love you lots friends & fam - email me if you need anything! Can't wait to get back and cruise on the beach with all of you and be a good member missionary and get a coke from McDonalds and take some good pictures and have some good fun. 

Lots of Love,


Hermana Hanatea Elkington