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