Sunday, December 3, 2017

Hanatea turns 21!

This has been one of the most stressful weeks of my mission - but it included Thanksgiving and a birthday! It's been a while since I've been too stressed to actually sleep. 

We've been working hard in this area in Twin Falls and trying our best to talk to everyone and find new people to teach, and it seems like nothing has been working. We've been struggling to find and to work with members, and I'm thankful for you all that sent me advice and some extra fry sauce on the side love, we'll see what we can do differently and new. "We're not stuck...there is traction."

Anyway I was feelin' pretty down in the snow and not super stoked to be here, but I had some good people around that brought me up again. Me and Hermana Corona went to Sushi-Ya when we didn't have a dinner and had some ono foods. At 8:00 that night, I was wondering "what the frick am I doing in Idaho on my 21st birthday?" and Sister Hansen and Sister Reisinger came and picked us up in their red Toyota Corolla and took us to see the most magical display of Christmas lights I ever did see in Filer, had 2 bottles of gatorade in the car, and played me some Sufjan Christmas jams. Doesn't get better than that, right? This year, I'm grateful for the good people and good friends that I have surrounding me. God works through people. 

Love you fam! The holidays make you sentimental anyway, but the holidays on a MISSION make you like a freaking can of Mexican coke that you shook up, ready to explode with sentimental-ness. 

Lots of Love,
Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

2 much bless 2 b stress

Here's some things that made my week:

- I found a Sammy J song on my companion's usb 
- It rained
- We got to watch a YSA Face-to-Face and feel normal
- We put up Christmas lights

Here's some things that I miss like craaaaazy in my life:

- Onoyo
- Sunsets @ sunset beach
- Thai food from the food trucks ACROSS sunset beach

I've been having a pretty dope time here in Twin Falls. Me and Hermana Corona got rear-ended this week buy someone going 45 mph and had to go to the ER (don't worry Mom!) but are fine and our car is a little beat up. This week we also taught this cool kid named Chris from Costa Rica, he's 16 and gave us some coke and bday cake for his birthday, so you could say he's a homie. 

I had an experience this week that reminded me of of "You've Got Mail" when Tom Hanks is the reason that Meg Ryan's book shop gets shut down and he says, "It's not personal..." and Meg Ryan says, "Why does everyone always say that? What's so wrong with being personal?" At the Face-to-Face, Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard answered some real questions in real ways, and were personal with us. I think the relationships we form here on Earth should always be personal - being on a mission, I've had some pretty sweet opportunities to form some personal, strong, relationships with people I would have never met here in Boise, Idaho if I had not come on a mission. It's a beautiful thing. 

Lastly, I was reading something my Dad wrote me and here's something that he said:

"Success does not often come without struggle and effort, not to mention a fair amount of failure."

It's been tough to work in this area in Twin. Not a lot of progression, not a lot of people that seem to want to learn about the Gospel. But we often don't see success without failure, failure, and more failure. It's always a process and up and down, and that's okay. We can't expect to always be succeeding all the time - I think sometimes failure IS success. It's just hard to see. 

Love you all my primos! Me and Hermana Corona's quote of the week is "SO SAVAAAAAAAAGE!" Hope everyone has a stellar week filled with sweet-bread french toast and smoothies! Email me if you need anything!

Lots of Love,
Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

love & homies & mexicans

Aloha primos! 

We got transfer calls, Hermana Cox went to Burley (THE PROMISED LANNNNNND) and I got Hermana Corona here in Twin Falls! I am more stoked than stoked, and sad to say goodbye to Hermana Cox. Hermana Corona is from Ensenada Mexico and we've been having wayyyyy too much fun here in Twin #brownpriiiiiide

Got an update on Fredy and Alexis from Boise and they went through the Meridian Temple Open House and loved it. They both want to be baptized and have the blessings of the gospel in their lives. Dope! 

The work here in Twin has been tough, so I got a question for all you RM's or Missionaries or anyone really. How can I work better with members to find people to teach? How can I help members do their own member missionary work? I'm a huge fan of member missionary work after serving for 10  months here in Idaho, and we've been working with a lot of people and have seen no progression. I have this dream in my head to find and work as hard as we can, but any advice would be welcome fam. plz & thnkz (also shoutout to Elder Clarke for sending me workouts, you know who the tru homies are) 

Hope everyone's doin' fly and being happy :) Remember to take breaks, love like Jesus, and someone pleeeease go on a hike for me k homies? Email me if you need anything! 

Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

The Charity Van

Aloha Fam! 

Working at the Meridian Temple open house has been one of the dopest experiences I've had on the mission. We all load up, 2 companionships and 1 trio, into our white minivan and go on the roadtrip to Boise/Meridian, listening to some good jams and eating some goob foods. I've loved partying with these sisters. We've started calling it the Charity Van cuz someone always offers to pay for our Dutch Brozkies or Krispy Kreme #blesssssssssss

This Sunday I was walking through the chapel to Principios del Evangelio and as I came up to the room guess who I saw - ARACELI. I ran up to give her the biggest hug and she came with her 3 girls from Burley to visit me in Twin Falls! We both gave our testimonies in Sacrament Meeting and she said how she received an answer to her prayer that day and that God is real. Seeing her was an answer to MY prayers - one of the best people I've ever met. It felt like being home. 

One of my favorite quotes this week was from Jose Vasquez -

"7th Day Adventists eat fake pork. They make their pork out of soy. And that's lying! It's lying to eat fake pork! It's just not right!"

I don't even remember what we were teaching him it cracked me up, that guyyyyy

Something that President Bartlett told us in an email is to "take care of yourself." I loved that, because this is hard work. You gotta take yo gatorade breaks when you need to - pretty sure Jesus did too. Take care of yourselves friends! 

Lots & lots & lots of love,
Hermana Hanatea Elkington 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

For the TWIN

Someone help a sistah out and really send me some workouts cuz still gaining weight like a walrus here in the dope land of Idahoooooo

This week I was reading a letter from one of my teachers in the MTC (from 12 years ago) and here's something that he said:

"In Boise, if you win over the hearts of the members, you will have a successful mission." 

I was kinda struck by this because of how true it has been. When we establish relationships with the members in our branches and areas, we get referrals of people to teach; we get people wanting to come to church and to learn more about the gospel. But HOW do we establish these relationships with members?

One of the most valuable things I've learned on my mission so far is how to find the balance between being myself and being a Disciple of Christ. Really they're connected, but at first, that was so hard to recognize. I think as we build relationships with others, whether they're members of the church or not, we need to always remember to be ourselves. God didn't call me on a mission to be a missionary; he called me here to be ME. And when we are ourselves, when we're real and help people to find good food and choose to laugh, we build real relationships. We become more like Jesus. 

It's been pretty dope to figure out how to do this on my mission so far. I'm so incredibly grateful for every second of it, the good and the bad. It's been a journey, for sure, a self-finding journey and full of frustration a lot of the time, but I think it's something really valuable as well, entonces vale la pena! I love this gospel. If it weren't for Jesus, I would have driven our minivan all the way to Cali to see the ocean lol. But still here! #proudofme It's a good ride. Keep loving others friends! Love like Jesus! 

Love you all <3 <3 write me back if you need anything. Hope you all have a BALLER WEEK go play some basketball and watch the sunset

Oceans of love,
Hermana Elkington

p.s. here's me and Alex Athans @ the temple open house!! 

TODAY, JUNIOR (adam sandler)

One of my fave things happened this week and I got to go on an exchange w/ Sister Hansen and have some bomb chill like lucky charms times and eat all of Sister Amani's grindz lol but she took me to Hollister and Filer and I love these tiny towns out here in the middle of nowhere. We met lots of good dogs and lots of good people and it felt pretty normal for a day which is rare out here. 

This week Sister Hansen said, "Be the kind of person who makes things happen!" Because there's people that watch things happen, people that wait for things to happen, people that hope for things to happen (or something li'dat) and people that make things happen. I love that. Cuz we're here to DO things and get things done (mark it on the board!) and that day was also a great reminder of while we make things happen, we here to love people and to be their friends. Sometimes I think missionaries need to slow down and remember that everyone's got their own issues and we here to be food/family/&friends (foodland!) with them. The gospel is simple. 

We met this super cool lady named Maria this week who wants to come to Church and have some change in her life because she just got separated from her husband and wants to raise her kids in a happier place. Keep her in your prayers this week if you be prayin'!

Love you fam! Email me if you need anything! Someone go eat some sushi for me and listen to Beck's new album pllzzzzzz! Keep juicing + being happy! If you not happy, find a way to be! Play some good jams and listen to the ocean! 

PS here's a pic of the oldest working elementary school in the US in Hollister lol. coolest thing yet in Idaho <3

Lots & lots & lots & mountains of love,
Hermana Elkington 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Love the Grind pt. 2

Feeling the spirit is like taking the first bite of sushi. 

Here's something that made me sad this week - there's a street called "Blue Lakes" in Twin and I always say "Brue Rakes" and no one laughs. #imacomedian

This week we loaded up the minivan (living the freaking dream and driving the minivan) with sisters and drove to Meridian to work at the Temple Open House. We stayed in a castle there and slept on a cloud and ate elven bread and omelets and what a life, what a dream. Also the temple is pretty fresh. If any of you are ever in Boise, you should go check it out! 

It's been a little difficult to be away from our area this week, but we packed in lots of good sushi lessons and our investigator who said he'd be baptized on December 2nd came to Church! If you prayin' this week, plz pray for Paul! 

Me and Hermana Cox have been laughing and having fun and haven't played any basketball yet but we'll get there lol. I forgot to buy gatorade this week so I was dying a little, but all is goob - stay happy friends! Hope you're all feelin' that spirit and watching goob movies and (going to church) and eating some mochi crunch! 

Love you all and stay fly

Hermana Elkington 

"The Man of your life will be Spanish." -Presidente Acosta

Familia Cortes (Boise)

Twin Falls is bumpin' friends. I've had "Where is the Love" by the Black Eyed Peas stuck in my head for 14 days now so plz send help

Before I left Boise, the Branch President told me "the man of my life will be Spanish." Last piece of advice from the Boise Branch, heawikooooooo hahahahahaa

Familia Lopez (Boise)

We had a dope Hermana reunion in Meridian this week - we'll get the opportunity to work in the Meridian Temple Open House and for the first time in mission history all the Hermanas got to get together! It was great to see old companions and party with them for a little bit. They're some pretty sweet friends. 

We had dinner with the Familia Gutierrez this week and they are my Familia Quezada here in Twin. It's been cool to start getting to know members and investigators here in the Twin Falls branch and I'm excited for change. We've been working hard and have extended a few baptismal dates - we workin' harrrrrd to see some progress here in our area (and have been having fun while we at it).

I got a call from my Dad last week and he told me that my Grandpa Waha had passed away. It hasn't been the smoothest ride from there - I just want to be with my family right now, and it's been difficult to focus on the other hard things I have to be doing as a missionary. We got a knock on the door this week though and EMMA HOUGHTON'S grandparents opened the door - it was nice to share some grandparent love and get some hugs from people that reminded me of home. Aunty Lannette always says, "You can do hard things!" Its truuuuu friends. We can do hard things. 

Me & the Crowley's

Lastly, we found some Pupusas here in Twin and had some good flashbacks to crazy Boise life. It's been a ride, with some crazy bumps and turns, but we still laughing and smiling and juicing and being happy. Hope all of your lives are going happy as well! Email me if you need anything or just want to tell me how great of a missionary I am lolololol #humble

Love you all fam! Thanks for the prayers & the love,
Hermana Elkington


Fam&Friends&Primos&Papayas - 

I got transferred to Twin Falls! Pretty rough on my heart! Here's some cool frijoles from before I left:

- Got to say goodbye to Fredy and he promised me he'd be baptized on November 18th. He thanked me for what I've done and his llama went crazy while we were teaching the lesson. He's a pretty cool guy. 

- Saying goodbye to Cecy and the kids was KILLLLAHHHZ - too much crying. Cecy said "Never forget about us!" over and over again and Luis Mario left me with a prayer, praying for me to be okay in Twin and to keep working hard and finding people to teach. It was sweet and hard and sad. They gave me some Mexican magic before I left and I miss them way too much already. Saying goodbye to the Quezada's was pretty hard as well - we cruised at their house on my last night and talked and laughed and I miss them already as well. It's good to have friends. 

- Me and Hermana Sundstrom went to Delsa's in Boise North and loaded up on the tater tots and she's my best friend in Boise Idaho. Goodbyes are the friggin' worrrrrrst

Through all the tears and ice cream and hard new companion experiences so far, I'm excited to be here in Twin. I'm excited to help this area progress and to become a better disciple of Christ. Keep juicing friends! Keep being happy! Keep laughing and don't beat people up when you get mad at them or frustrated (lol working on it) Keep Hanatea in your prayers this week cuz I need it like ballerzzzzz

Lots and lots and lots and lots of love,
Hermana Elkington

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mexican Spanish is the Best Spanish

Aloha aunties&uncles,

Here's some sweet things that happened this week:

- I got to go on exchanges in AMITY and live in HEAVEN and ride a bike all day and cruise with some chill people and it was so rad. It smells like the country up there and made my heart jar pretty happy.

- Fredy and Alexis came to Church (our investigators from Columbia) and we had a great gospel principles class. They learned about la Obra Misional and Fredy was all like "well I'm a missionary cuz I brought Alexis to church" and we were like yeeeeee! It was great to see them there. Fredy said the prayer at the end and thanked Heavenly Father for the missionaries and he said my name (which is a miracle because 0 hispanics can remember "Elkington" lol so special)

- We have a new investigator named Trava - she's been going to the Spanish Branch since she was little with her Foster Family and couldn't get baptized because she wasn't 18. She moved away for a while but recently moved back to Boise and she's really excited to be baptized. We taught her the Plan of Salvation this week and she said "I love this plan because it gives me hope - hope that I can turn my life around." 

- Our car broke down while it was pouring rain lol #blesssssssss

I was sitting in Sacrament Meeting and our Branch President gave a talk (from the DR) and Hno. Julio gave a talk (from Guatemala) and we ate dinner that night with the Lopez's and I concluded that Mexican Spanish is the best Spanish. I also was pretty stoked to realize that I could understand almost everything that was being said at Church - it's been cool to come to the Branch in Burley and not get a word out of it and a little whiles later be here in Boise and get it pretty solid. 

Me and Hermana Sundstrom have had a great week. A mission is like camping in Mango Grove - you have all the funs and all the happiness, but sometimes a mango falls on your head and ruins your day, but then you eat it and it's all good again. Up and down and up and down again. We find out transfer news this Tuesday and get transferred on Thursday, so we'll see what happens! We're expecting some changes because we've been together for 3 transfers now which feels like 17 years. 

Hope everyone has a baller week :)))))) LOVE YOU ALL 

Lots of Love,
Hermana Elkington 


new babies + dr pepper

Hey all you mangoes,

This was straight up one of my favorite weeks on the mission. It was full of hard stuff & good stuff, but I'm not sure I've ever been this happy in my whoooooooole life (rollercoaster goes on). 

On Tuesday, September 12th, Galilea Quezada was born! We called Hermano Quezada because we needed something and he was like "welp, Shannon's in the hospital" so the next day they invited us to come visit in the hospital and we got to hold this tiny, golden baby who was just 12 hours old. She's pretty amazing. It was cool to be a part of this experience - the Quezada's have changed the way that I do missionary work and are some of the best people I've ever met, and I told Hermana Sundstrom, "Holding that baby was the only chill moment I've had in Boise. not even joshin'." Today we went to make SWEET BREAD FRENCH TOAST with Hermana Quezada cuz her life is insane right now, and it was good to hang with her. 

We went to teach our investigator, Fredy, from Columbia and he was like "aye you guys hungry cuz I want a hamburger" so he took us to Carl's Jr. (he called it 'Carlos Jr.' lolololol) and we taught him the Restoration there. It was a pretty chill lesson. After we were done, we kinda just asked him how he felt and what he was thinking and he took a sip of his Dr Pepper and said, "This is something I've been waiting to hear about my whole life." We were like cheeeeeeeepono fulfilling our proposito at Carlos Jr!

We've been teaching Mirta again, the lady from Cuba, and she's nuts as always but we've been able to teach her without her getting completely distracted about the types of food she buys for her dogs at Winco. We visited her and taught the Plan of Salvation and she had so many questions for us - good, sincere questions. It was a sweet lesson. 

Boise was a furnace and now it's a freezer. Winter is coming. Not too happpppeh about that but life's still bomb. No worries beeef currrrrieeeeees

I've loved how happy missionary work makes me. I've been feeling frustrated in a way that I can't even describe these past couple weeks - frustrated with the people we've been working with and the members and the branch and the area and ALL OF IT, but Hermano Quezada said to me one day, "We deal with the frustration of the mission not because we love wearing the tag, or love dressing up every day, or love showing off to other missionaries. We do it because we love to teach the gospel to others." This work brings a happiness like no other - and it's a happiness that's underlying, it's there even with all the frustration and sadness that you experience. 

Hope every one has a baller week. Stay cherreh my mangoes! Email me if you need anything! Email me if you want some love! 

Lots and lots and loads of love,
Hermana Elkington 

1) Wrote down this hispanic lady's phone # at the gas station lol
2) Fredyyyyy
3) french toast ballahz
4) hiking

Idaho White-aho

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

- I got to go on exchanges with Sister Fangai'uiha (from Honolulu!) My favorite quote of the week is from her - "I think I got sent to Idaho because I hate white people and I needed to learn to love them." 
- We started a tradition called Sunday Sleepovers
- I got a package with a crapton of beef jerky and coconut almonds (pretty sure from Aunty Kia cuz she knows me SO WELL)
- We found a new investigator from talking to a lady at a bus stop

As we were driving home from a really rough day when everything cancelled on us, INCLUDING the members that were supposed to come out and do some visits, I blasted the Amy Grant Christmas Album (blesssssss Hermana Quezada) and was reminded of my Mom (and realized that if I had to describe my parents in 3 artists, it'd be Amy Grant, JT, and Mariah Carey hahahahahahaha). 

We had a sweet lesson this week with one of our investigators named Araceli and her 2 kids, Barbie and Kevin. We gave them a Kid's Book of Mormon and as they read it during the week, they said "We just love this book, and we always want to read it!" They are set to be baptized in October, and we'll keep teaching them and see how that works out. Keep them in your prayers this week!

Every week I have such a struggle with this area. We are working so hard, and the results seem to come so slow or not at all. It's been incredibly frustrating to work here, and it's been so hard to remember the happiness you feel from the GOOD things that happen on a mission. I was reading in my journal from Burley this week and read this (lol quoting myself)

"It's the feeling you get when you love someone and you help someone, and make a friend. Then they love you for YOU, just like the Savior loves you."

My favorite thing about being a missionary is meeting people and essentially, making friends. Friends that have shown me Christlike love and have shown me the difference that the gospel can make in your life. In all the frustration with rules, cancelled lessons, unwilling members, tough companions, you find a happiness here that you can't find anywhere else. 

Love you guys x10000000000 - stay scrubba, stay happy. Someone jump in the ocean for me and listen to Miike Snow. Email me if you want to meet up at the Meridian Temple open house lololololol ;)))))

Lots of Love,
Hermana Elkington 

go grande or go home

The Familia Cortes were the highlight of my week. They're like chocolate haupia pie and everything else good in the world.

Their baptism on Saturday was a beautiful service and I felt the support and love of the Branch like I never have before. We love them so much. Hermana Quezada was sitting next to me and kept saying ,"Look how happy they look! Look how happy they ARE!" And I'm reminded time and time again that this gospel is about being happy, smiles, peace, healing, and love. It's been interesting to be able to find this family,  teach them, and still be in the area to help them be baptized #supahhhblesssssssssssss

I'm so far from a perfect missionary (erryday I think about how much I miss cruising at the beach lol) but I read something this week that Uncle Aaron wrote me while I was in prison (the MTC) he said, "There will be hard times, but that's okay. God is preparing you to help bring souls to Him, and I am absolutely positive that you are going to be very successful in that endeavor." There have been a lot of ways I've grown since I've been doing this, and I think "being successful" has been something I've learned how to realize. This mission is so focused on numbers - I hate that. A mission is about PEOPLE. We are here to help and here to love, and that's how we find success. 

Hope you cuzzzzins had a stellar week lol. Loves and more loves

Hermana Elkington

PICS: The Cortes' baptism & hiking Table Rock w/ the district (Heavenly Father let me get out of the city finally cheeeeeeeepono) 



Here's some things that made my WEEK:
- We dropped off Charlene's baptismal record at the mission office and I got to see Elder Wright out of the blue!
- We ate at LOS BETOS (because no one wanted to feed the Spanish Sistahhhhzzz this week lol)
- Hermana Sundstrom's mom gave us a Chipotle gift card and we got burritos (and all of a sudden I missed Arenui with my whole heart hahaha)
- We got to teach a new investigator (a referral) named Claudia who is pretty much ready to be baptized

This week I was driving home from a lesson at like 9:25 and the moon was out and it was dark. It's usually been light lately when I've driven home, but as the Summer has started to wind down a little, it's started to change again. As I drove down the freeway I realized how much I love change. I hate change haha - but I love it. We're not here to do the same things again and again, we're here to improve, we're here to get better, be happier, and change. It's something for missionaries and it's something for human beings - change is why we're here. 

I've been feeling sick of this area for a while now. I'm tired of people not answering their doors and their phones, so we went down our list of people that we have to teach and are starting FRESH LIKE STRAWBERRIES - it is so scary to do this. To look in the back of your planner and to have less than half of the people you had previously to visit. But as soon as we did it, we found so many more potential investigators. We are trying things differently and trying things new, and trying to see some change here in the Boise Spanish area.

The Familia Cortes will be baptized this Saturday and we couldn't be happier for them. They have shown us what it's like to make sacrifices and what it's like to be disciples of Jesus Christ. We taught them the Law of Chastity, the Word of Wisdom, and the law of Tithing this week and Cecy said, "Well, there's sacrifices that you have to make to be happy." It was interesting to see how she accepted these commandments and how she's seen how happy the Gospel has made her and her family, and she's 100% in. I admire that so much! I want to be a 100% "in" missionary. 

At times I think that our area is too big - we can't cover 7 stakes! We can't help people get to church when they live so far away from the Branch Building! We can't get the members excited about missionary work and helping us because they haven't been in so long. But that's not why I'm here - I'm here for change, and I'm here to be 100% in - to love people with 100% of my heart. 

Also, we taught Fredy and Alexis (our two investigators from Colombia) and I love going to his house because it's out in Meridian and I get to get OUT OF THE CITY - while we taught them, they kept inviting us to go to this sketch Colombian dance with them and finally at the end of the lesson (it was actually a good lesson, they're hilarious) Fredy was like "you never said if you could come dancing." And we were like lol Fredy nope, can't come dancing with you hahahaha. I put in some dope pics w/ his llama. 

Hope everyone has a baller week. Don't let llamas spit at you. 
Lots of Love,
Hermana Elkington

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


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

1 - Fire-station tour on P-day
2 - My firefighter friend PARKER
3 - Caroline's baptism
5 - Lost in Boise

Hanatea wants a musubi but is still happy in Idaho


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