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 

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. 


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" 

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 

"Hermana Elkington, you're a good athlete." -Elder Burns

Aloha Fam! 

This was the eternal week! This week was a YEAR - this transfer has been a CENTURY, not even joshing! I feel like I was 5 when I came to Boise and now I'm literally 80. Me and Hermana Sundstrom will find out if we are getting transferred tomorrow night (because on the mission they don't support you using your time to say goodbye to people before you get transferred #supahsalty) but are both expecting to stay here in Boise. They don't move around the Hermana's very much because there are only 8 in the mission, and not actually a lot of places that we can serve. So we'll see! Come what may and love the crap out of it, right?

The week started out tough. Hermana Sundstrom got some bad news from home, and I was wondering how the work would go this week - but as long as this week felt, I think this was the funnest we've had yet. We were laughing 24/7 *and also almost crashed the car multiple times*

One thing my Dad taught me is that if you ever make Sweet Bread French Toast, you never make it just for yourself. I woke up on Tuesday feeling homesick as heck and didn't want to be in Boise anymore - you can hear the freeway from our house and it makes me want to throw up hahaha *dramatic* - so I made myself some Sweet Bread French Toast. And then some for Hermana Sundstrom as well - and the week began. And we just balled our way all the way to Monday! We were happy and working past hard things, but laughed our way through it and helped each other and loved each other! I have learned so much from her, it's been amazing. 

We visited one of the Menos Activos that lives in our area, Virginia, this week. Last week she had about 50 gallons of milk sitting on her table and this week she had about 200 packages of QUESO FRESCO in her fridge. We had just dropped by to say hi and she made us sit down and eat a ton of her cheese. Elder Parker, one of the missionaries with me in Burley, had lost 30 lbs by giving up cheese and all I could think was welp. There goes that plan - Blesssss!

Here's some of the pieces of Ted's Bakery pie from this week:

- Charlene and Angel came to CHURCH! We knocked on their door and Charlene comes out in her dress pants and a blouse and the Book of Mormon we gave her in her hands.
- We found a new investigator - his name is Armando and we call him the "Fish Guy" cuz every time we've seen him he's been cooking fish
- Karen is this Sister that has been a member for a while but isn't going to Church. We got to teach her and meet her this week, she's from Columbia! Her daughters did our makeup.
- Hermana Gomez, one of the members in the branch, bought me a watermelon.

Last week after we played basketball, one of the AP's, Elder Burns, said "Hermana Elkington - you're a good athlete." And I thought, "Do you think I'm an athlete? Because I think I'm an athlete." (Little, you better get that one) And let me tell you about Elder Burns - he is a LEGEND. He is possibly the most soft-spoken missionary I've met, and out of nowhere he is the best athlete in the mission - he played college basketball and coached basketball and played soccer and is even a beast at ping-pong. So I heard him say that and just thought I CAN DO ANYTHING CHEEEEPONO

Lastly, me and Hermana Sundstrom have decided to take on the Home Depot motto and "Let's do this" *in the deep Home Depot guy voice* and just go with it. A lot of crazy has happened this transfer, but we're still going. We're still working hard. We're still having fun and laughing - and we love the people here more than anything. 

Keep on loving! Keep on laughing! Write me and tell me about your lives! I love you all more than I love the ocean! 

Lots of love,
Hermana Elkington