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