Sister Elkins

Sister Elkins

Monday, December 15, 2014

Moving, Goats, Zone Goal, Hives, Oh My!

Dear Friends and Family,

It's been another exciting week. It's never a dull moment when you’re around me to began with. Sorry, that you are left with dull lives while I'm away. Maybe this will let you know how awesome and exciting I am. Just a little reminder of what an awesome person I am.

We found out last Tuesday, that we had to move out of our apartment, to a place that is bigger and better functioning. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :) Our place new place is wonderful!! It's on a tri duplex. Has more storage place and bigger place. We love it and we look forward to making it more homey. 
                                                                      Here's our new address. I expect letters from everyone!! lol

2209 N Elm Street
Miami, Ok 74354

This week we got to meet a "scary" goat. We took our new member Rachel out to visit a less active. When we got there out came this cute little goat that came charging at Sister Bagby. I did what companions do when they see a goat charging at their companion. I laughed. For whatever reason, Sister Bagby was not a fan of that. She tried hiding behind me. I now became the human goat shield. I now had both Rachel, and Sister Bagby, hiding behind me, while I was supposed to be protecting them from the "Scary" goat. The goats eventually let us teach to these little girls about Christ. I now want a goat. :)

This week our Zone had a set a goal of getting 100% member present lessons. That's just 20 lessons with along with church members there with us, when we go out and teach people. At first it seemed impossible. We took it to the Lord and with help from the wonderful members of Miami, we reached our goal. We got 22 members present. The ending results were that as a zone we taught 195 lessons, with the average of 94.1% member present lessons! WOOT! It took LOTS and LOTS of work. Very stressful. We are so happy that our hard work paid off!

I can't even begin to describe all of the miracles we saw this week. I know that the Lord will be there to help us accomplish our goals and if we keep him involved then we can do anything. If it matters to us, then it will matter to him.

I had an interesting thing happen to me on Saturday night at the Ward Christmas party. I had broken out in hives and rashes. On my face, neck, shoulders, I looked beautiful covered in rashes and hives. I knew I was having allergic reaction to something. I have a few ideas on what it could be. Sunday, the hives and gotten worse. I was taken to urgent care and given a steroid shot. 

On the bright side, I looked somewhat better and not such a scary sight any more. I will soon be normal, like I said, never a dull moment with me. I'll be always doing something interesting. I miss you all and hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. :)    

Much love,

Sister Elkins

Monday, December 8, 2014

Exchanges, Camels and Baptisms

Dear fellow tabernacle of clay mold beings (Moroni 9:6, Mosiah 3:5),
Greetings from the land of Miami, Oklahoma. My excursion this week has been more than magnificent! We had exchanges this week, I stayed here in Miami, while Sister Bagby went to Joplin. I was with Sister Goody for the exchange. I guess Sister Goody has been knocked on the head by the crazy fairy or something. Because during our delight-some exchange, she said she was going to recommend that I train! I will then be put on a list of names that our Mission President will go over when we get new missionaries. I know that it's not missionary-like to dislike being a trainer and I should WANT to train someone. Sadly, I haven't formulated the desire to want to train.

I believe training is like raising a baby. Expect it's more like someone handing you a 19 something year old and say "Here raise this to all of this to the level of expectations of a missionary". But you only have 6 or 12 weeks to do it!

Then after that training is over, you will ALWAYS be remembered for how that missionary turned out! If they are bad,  they will ask "Who was your trainer?" There's this saying in the mission, that if a missionary isn't doing the things they are supposed to its cause of the trainer. Bad trainer equals bad missionary for however long they serve. 

Of course, this could be all said for being a good trainer too. I just don't think I'm ready for that kind of responsibility. I guess we will see what happens. Good thing that there is no new sister missionaries coming out until maybe in January. 
This week we got invited to another Church’s Christmas festivities. I think you could call it that...basically it's a church that put on this HUGE reenactment of Christ's birth - Just a lot more intense and interesting.
We showed up, and I was ready to experience whatever came at me. First, you get paired into a group of about 10 people or so. Then they take you to their chapel. There, people are rocking out on the stage,                            with drums, guitars, and dancers. While you are watching the performance, you then are taken outside to a tent, where people then say a prayer over you.
Then a man appears who's dressed in robes of Christ's time. He says he's our "Father" that we must travel to Bethlehem to pay the tax. Mind you it was dark out, and I'm now following a man who says he's my "father". We went along these trails where we met other actors who are also headed to Bethlehem to pay the tax.
We even met someone who had camel. I did the only logical thing to do and went up to the camel. I started petting it. It's not very often that you see a camel in Oklahoma! While I was petting the camel Roman soldiers came on horses. They started yelling and saying all kinds of things. For those of who know me well, you'll know that I don't do well when crazy things happen. I just started laughing and not sure what else to do when people dressed as Roman soldiers start yelling at you. I kind of stood out by laughing.
Then we finally got to see the manger scene. All of it was fun. I knew that we stood out with our name tags that said that we are from a different church. I didn't care though. I was so hoping that someone would ask me questions. Nothing. Maybe next time...
Sunday, the most wonderful thing happened! Rachel got baptized!! I wish I could describe to you how wonderful that baptism was! Rachel was beyond excited about getting baptized. She's been counting down for this day to come.
The spirit was so strong from the moment we sang the opening song. Nothing even happened yet, and people already had tears in their eyes!  It was so intense! The room was full of the spirit, I know everyone was feeling it. I know that those who came to baptism, they came to show their love for Rachel. She has became a part of the ward long before she got baptized. How could you not love Rachel! She's so easy to love and her humor. She always gets me going. Then the big moment came. As Rachel stepped into that water, I became overwhelmed with the spirit. I was overflowing with love, joy, and happiness for Rachel. I wanted to jump up and down. Or give her the biggest hug ever! When she came out of that water, she was totally glowing. I knew she was happy. I know that Heavenly Father is proud of Rachel too. What I was feeling is not even a million times as strong as what Heavenly Father feels for Rachel. 

I'm so grateful to be here on my mission. I'm so blessed to have the gospel in my life and to share it with others. My heart has so much love for everyone. Sometimes I think I might burst with this amount of love I have for everyone. I love my Mission!!!!!!!! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Dear Family and Friends!

WOAH DOGIES!! It's cold out side!!! If you were here with me right now, you would be bundled up and looking like an Eskimo right now. Not saying that I personally looking like an Eskimo... it's considered unprofessional. BUT if I could I would dress up as an Eskimo!! They got the right idea on how to stay warm. 

This time of year, I think will be the only time I wish I was an Elder!! It's not all that fun to wear dresses in the winter time all day, every day. Good thing it's going to warm up in a day or two! Back to the 70's weather.

This week, we went around and shared a Thanksgiving message to everyone we could possibly think of. We went and visited less actives, members, investigators, and anyone that would listen to us really.

 I loved sharing the message of Thanksgiving. In Alma describes it best. It says "Worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit, and in truth; and that ye live in Thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you." (Alma 34:38) There are so MANY blessings that I'm thankful for. I can't even name them all. I will say this though, I am so deeply grateful for the chance to be on my mission at this time. To be around so many wonderful people. I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life. I'm so grateful for the atonement and my Savior for all that he has done for me.

Then we had a wonderful lesson with Kendra where we made home made pizza and eggnog! It was so good!! Afterwards we did a 1,000 piece puzzle of Christ together. It was a lot of fun. While we where there, Kendra wanted to do this book of Mormon challenge with us. The challenge is you finish the Book of Mormon in 25 days! Starting on December 1, and you'll be finished on Christmas day!! That's only 22 pages a day! No big deal! So, I started today reading my 22 pages. I look forward to doing this Challenge with Kendra and a few others. :) 

Thanksgiving day was awesome! We are not supposed to teach on Thanksgiving day, and to basically take it easy and be with other people. Our first meal of the day was with Bishop Compton and 20 of students from the college. Who were all from the Bahamas. Needless to say it was a bit crowded and made things interesting. It was still fun and we always have fun when we are will Bishop's family. Then we had Thanksgiving with the Chamba family. They fed us some good food too! They fried their turkey and it tasted sooooo good!!!!

Then we started planning the baptism for Rachel!! She will be getting baptized next week!! I'm so excited for her and the chance to be there with her. She will also be doing the Book of Mormon challenge with us. So many good things are going on for Rachel. She is so amazing and has became a dear friend. I'm so blessed to have her in my life!

I want all of you to know that I love you and miss you. I hope you all have a wonderful day and know that TOMORROW IS MY BIRTHDAY!!! I'll be 22 once again! ;) No one needs to know how hold I'll really be. I can't imagine a better way to spend my birthday than serving the Lord. My birthday will be full of epicness and awesomeness all thrown in one day!! WOOT!!! WOOT!! 

Much love,

Sister Elkins

Monday, November 10, 2014

Come What May and Love it!

Dear Family and Friends,

Sister Elkins hurt her hand.
This week has been interesting. We started serving at a Native American Family History Center. Where we do, what the genealogy folks would call Indexing. We put the information that they have and type it into this huge database. I'm sure my Mom would be so proud that I'm doing family history work. lol I had to laugh when we started doing this project. Before my mission I would never see myself doing family history work. I thought it was lame and BORING! Now, I know differently. It's actually....well I can't even believe I'm going to say this, but *gulp* It's fun! Wow, I can't believe I said that! That burned a little bit...... 
My favorite part about family history is finding out people's stories. I may not know whole lot about genealogy, but I do know stories. Everyone has one and it's wonderful when you get to find something out about someone.

This week, we found out that our "Court Ordered" investigator's are moving, and we won't be able to teach them any more. Which is rather sad, but a good thing too. They haven't been coming and they weren't going to make all the requirements for the court. Meaning things could have gotten really dicey for us. As missionaries we are to avoid situations that could involve court issues. That would have been hard to do with these investigators.

We had a day this week, where it seemed that everyone was being attacked by the spirit of contention. Everywhere we went people where fighting and in just a bad mood. Yet, Sister Bagby and I where happy as we can be! We where laughing and trying to cheery people up, but some people where determined to be in a bad mood.  
Can't stay in a bad mood around these two!

Brother Cooper, our recent convert, got the Priesthood on Sunday!! He looked really happy to have it and be worthy of it! If everything goes according to plan he will attend the Temple for the first time on Friday! Yay we are going to the Temple!! Can you tell we are excited?!

Our investigator Sydney is in a mental institution for troubled teens. It was fun and exciting to teach her there. It was definitely a first for me and kind of fun and exciting. Especially when you get to go down a creepy dark alleyway to get the building door. It's so creepy that Sister Bagby has to sing a hymn while we walk there or she will walk really fast and almost ditch me down the alley.

Then we went and saw a lesson with a lady that I shall call "Susie" to protect her identity. We got there and right away we knew that something was bothering her. "Susie" had completely broken down and told us some deep, and horrible trials that she's going through. Her trials are big and more then anyone should have to bare. Her trials are unfair and seem impossible to go through. I didn't know how to make everything all better. I didn't know the words or actions on what to do. I felt so helpless and unqualified on helping her. Then I realized, that I didn't have the words to say, but the scriptures do! Right away, I thought of a scripture to share with her. It was Proverbs 3: 5-7. Which says:

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and  lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eye: fear the Lord."

I knew that the spirit was with me to give me the right words on what to say. I told her to trust in God. He loves you and wants to look after you. Bad things may happen, but he isn't going to leave you. You are not alone in this. There are people right here who love you and care for you. Like it says in this scriptures we can't direct our own paths, Heavenly Father will be there to guide you as you go through this difficult time. I know that this burden is hard for you to bare, but never forget that you are alone. You have the gift of the Holy Ghost, he is your personal companion. He will be with you 24/7. He can be a great comfort to you.

By the end of the lesson, I don't know if I made a difference on anything. I know that she felt a smidge better then she did before. I know that we all have our own difficult trials. Some that seem to big and heavy for us to carry on our own. That we can't see the bright side of the situation or if we'll ever be happy again. We can be doing all the right things in life and still have hard trials thrown at us. I do know this. We are not alone in this. Heavenly Father will not forsake us. We are not alone, no matter how much we feel that way. I know that He is there for us. Carrying us through it. Doesn't matter if we can feel it or not. He's there. I know this. 

On visiting "Susie" I forgot all about my issues and personal problems. They didn't matter any more. I'm here to not focus on myself, but on others. I want others to know that they are not alone. That the gospel is right there to help them through anything. I know this to be true.

I love and miss you all.  

Sister Elkins

Monday, September 22, 2014

Flourballs and Wine Tasting

Howdy ya’ll! 

Sorry, I wasn't able to send an email last week. I sadly ran out of time when we played an epic game of flourball, with our zone. Now, for those of you who don't know what flourball is, I'll try my best to explain it to you. What you do is take some flour and a pair of nylons. You put a handful of flour and put it into the nylons. Then you roll it up and until you get this awesome flourball. After you make a bunch of flourballs, you now have ammo to throw at people. (AKA: Missionaries).

We then go to this abandon water park and play capture the flag. There are two forts and two teams.  Then you run around with flourballs and try not to get least that's what I do. Others might go and get the flag. Now when you get a bunch of missionaries together throwing flourballs at each other, it creates madness! 
I spend the whole time running around hiding and hoping for the best. That tacit doesn't always work though. I got hit a lot!! Mostly by the same elder every time!! Who was my Zone leader by the way!! Next time we play flourball, I will be looking for pay back in the most Christ like manner possible...
Last weekend, was the Fall Festival. We thought it would be awesome to set up a booth for the festival. Our booth was informational types of booth, helping people know more about our church. We gave out 15 Book of Mormons, and tons of pass along cards! At the end of the day we had a potential investigator! 
What was interesting was the booth right next to us, was a free wine tasting booth. They were selling wine and trying to get people to try the wine. We thought it was rather funny. If they drank the wine and then feel guilty, we would be right there to help with that! lol 
On Tuesday, we got to go the Kansas City temple!! It's been 5 months since I've been inside of the temple and boy it felt good!! We had a recent convert and recent activated member go with us and our Bishop doing the driving. Everyone was just glowing when we came out of the temple. It was a wonderful experience. 

Last Sunday, Sister Bagby and I had to give a talk in church. Giving a talk isn't a problem for me. It's more being up there with so many people! I did it though! I didn't faint, stutter, and managed to sound like I knew what I was talking about. lol Hopefully it will be awhile until I have to give another talk again. 
Yesterday, we got a new investigator! Her name is Jurrana. She's from Guam. Jurrana is young and far from home. Her husband works in Alaska doing something...she is getting ready to have her first child. She's about 7 months along. What we loved teaching Jurrana so much and helping her understand the Bible and who Heavenly Father is. She sees the Bible as God's word. She loves hearing about the prophets and how the Book of Mormon compares to the Bible. The spirit was strong in the lesson! I had goose bumps up and down my arms when we talked about Jesus Christ. I can feel that Jurrana has such a strong spirit about her. I know that it won't take her long to want to have the desire to be baptized. 
Other other Investigator Rachel is doing so awesome!! I just love teaching her and helping her come closer to Heavenly Father. She has amazing sense of humor and is always getting us laughing during lessons. Yet, we can still have the spirit there. When we showed her a picture of the temple we asked her what she thought of it. I loved her response. She said it was "Pure, safe, holy, peaceful." She wanted to go inside one day. 
I'm doing really well here in Miami. I'm finally getting used to the city life and l finally can sleep through the 2:30am train and the 5:30am train that comes right next to our apartment!! WOOT!! I still get a bit lost and a bit turned around when driving. I am getting there though. We are so excited for General Conference and getting ready to hear the Prophet!! I CAN'T wait!!! 
We have transfer calls on October 4th! AAAAHHH!!! It's coming so fast! I don't know where all the time went! I would LOVE to stay here for another transfer, but we will see where I might end up. It's all in the Lord's hands now. 
I miss you all and know that I am praying for all of you! 
God Bless!!!  

Sister Elkins

Monday, August 25, 2014

A New Guardian Angel and Transfer Calls

My Dear Family And Friends, 

I'm sure most of you have heard what transpired on Friday (August 22). The tragedy that took place here, in the Tulsa, Oklahoma mission and is very sad - it really hits home to all of us here.

I knew everyone in that car, especially the 2 sisters and I was fairly close to them. I also knew one of the Elders as well. Elder Koffard had served in Talihina, and it was always fun to meet up with him and talk about the area, people, etc. 

sister nancy vea
Newest Angel, Sister Vea
Sister Vea, was a wonderful missionary and it was an honor to get to know her. She will be missed. She had just finished her training, (that week). Now she is ready to do the missionary work on the other side. 
I know that we will now have a new guardian angel watching over us. One that we got to know and who knew us personally. I know she is with the great ones that it talks about in D&C 138 38-47. 

Saturday night, we received transfer calls. I am being transferred! I will be going to Miami (pronounced my-am-uh), Oklahoma. Which is way up north from where I'm at. I'm sad to go and to be leaving all the wonderful people here. 

Yet, I am very excited about going and seeing more of this ONLY TRUE MISSION!! :) 

A cool thing is, that Sister Harris my trainer, will now be my Sister Training Leader!! She is in my new stake and I will get to see her!! Even go on exchanges with her!! I'm excited for that! I leave on Thursday! Now I'm trying to see EVERYONE in the next 3 days!

 Along with that, trying to figure out how to pack everything. I haven't moved around since I've been here. So I will master the packing thing....I hope! lol 

Today, I got to play with a wolf! The Sheriff has a pet wolf and he brought him over so I could play with him! Don't worry! I took pictures! The wolf is named Frank! He's such a cutie!! 

I will send out my address next week. As of right now. I don't know it, but you can send it to the mission home and they will forward it! lol 

Well, I am off. I got some packing to do! 

Thanks to everyone for all of your prayers for the families that are going through this tragedy and the missionaries who are affected by this loss. 

I love you all!

Sister Jackie Elkins

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy 4th Everyone!

Hi Family and Friends!!

Well this one will be short​, s​ince we had a zone outing this morning. We hiked up to Robbers Cave ​and​ hik​ed​
up a mountain. (Oklahoma mountains are pretty small compare to Utah. But,​have a lot more cliffs when climbing them).

For the 4th, we got invited to a member's house for the evening. Played games and had some food. Didn't get to see any fireworks since, we had to be back by 9. From the sounds of it, they​ sounded epic.

Funny story. We where headed back to our apartment one night. When we saw a dog (or what we thought was a dog).It was dark and we couldn't really make it out.  For some reason we started talking to it and trying to get the dog to come to us. As we got closer to the dog, we quickly realized that it was no dog we where walking up to. But a skunk! The skunk had it's tail up ready to give us a wonderful smell,
but​ before it could spray us we took off running. It was a really close call!  

Awesome news! We now have 6 investigators with baptism dates!!! We are so excited and truly humbled to be doing the Lords work. I'm hoping to still be here for the baptisms. Saturday we get the transfer call. We will find out if I'm staying or going. 

As for Sister Harris, we know for sure that she is going. She's been here for 8 months in one area. That's a long time on a missionary life span. I expect to be getting a new companion. On the b​right ​s​ide​,​ I now might run into Brittany Parsons at the transfer. So I just might see her. Or be the one to train her! 

We had a wonderful lesson this week with some investigators. We taught them how to know the Holy Ghost giving them answers. 

When we teach these set of investigators the spirit is always strong. So strong that we all have goose bumps and I can feel the Holy Ghost telling me what to say.

I know that Heavenly Father has been guiding us on who to teach. I'm so blessed to have a close relationship with the Holy Ghost. To know what to say and when to say it. I can not teach without the help from Heavenly Father. Staying tune to that still small voice is so important. Even when he has you do something that you don't understand why he has you do it. We do it anyways. 

I miss you and love you!! I need to head off now. We just got back from hiking and we may or may not be smelling up the library with our awesome smell. So we need to head out and take a much needed shower!! 

Love you'ns! 
Sister Elkins 

Monday, June 30, 2014

God Cops


An investigator got nervous when we asked him what his last name was. He said the only people who asked him that were cops. We laughed and told him that we weren't cops. He said yes we were, we were God cops! I love it! lol

We had such a WONDERFUL week! I'll tell you a little bug miracle we had this week. In our apartment we tend to get a lot of brown recluse spiders, not something that I'm a fan of. So I said a prayer that they would die...the next morning we caught 5 spiders in our spider traps!! 

Prayer really does work! No matter what you pray about. If it matters to you, then it will matter to our Heavenly Father. 

This week we got a new car!! We are so excited about it!! It's a brand new car! Right off the lot! A Toyota Corolla 2014. We named the car Buttercup. Just so we can say,

 "Buckle up Buttercup!" 
That phrase will catch on some day. MWHAHAHA...

We have a new investigator this week. She's a cute little 9 year old named Cora. She had woken up one morning and wanted to be baptized. She's set a date for the 4th of August. We asked her how Heavenly Father blesses families. Her response was awesome! She said

 "Heavenly Father gave me a family that won’t poison me or kill me. 

Cora is such amazing little girl and we just love teaching her. You never know what she's going to say. 

This week we had taught the Word of Wisdom to some investigators. They had a problem with smoking and some other things. Since they have agreed to cut down on the smoking, they find that the cravings aren't so bad, that it's getting easier to quit. This week we are going to ask them to just stop and no more cutting down. We'll be praying that they will be able to stop smoking and come closer to Heavenly Father for stopping the habit. 
Here's an interesting thing I ate this week. It's called Hogs Head cheese. Not sure why they call it cheese. It's made out of a pigs head. (Teeth and all) It looks like a thin slice of ham. It wasn't too bad of a taste. Not something I would go out of my way to eat though. 

I also learned how to eat fried chicken. (Yes, there's an art to eating fried chicken). Out here they put syrup on the chicken. They put it on there like you would a pancake. At first I thought that sounded gross! Or a heart attack waiting to happen. I tried it though and it actually was pretty good. It added more flavor to the chicken. 

The weather is getting better. I now think 86 or 90's is rather cool. That's almost jacket weather! It's not the heat that's the problem it's the humidity. I'll take dry heat any day! lol 

I love the work here in Talihina! I'm lovin the people and love seeing the gospel improve their lives. It will never get old when I see someone's testimony grow. I can't even began describe how happy I am to be out here serving the Lord. There is nothing I’d rather be doing. 
I love you all so much! 

Love you’ns! 
Sister Elkins

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sometimes Oklahoma Seems Like a 3rd World Country

We have had a busy, awesome week! I'll explain the subject heading in a moment.

Tuesday we went out with what we call Sister Traveling Training Leaders. President Shumway had two sisters become similar to assistants to the president and they have an assignment to go to all sister areas in the mission in the next two transfers. So they came out with us! That day we split up, and I stayed in Talihina with one of the sisters, and Sister Harris went to Wilburton. We had amazing blessings! We ended up teaching more lessons that day than we did all last week! (We had a good week last week too!) We had found new people to teach in both towns.

Wednesday was a pretty normal day- we went to District Meeting, came back, worked hard, etc! Normal stuff.

Thursday was a little different. We had a funeral that day. Sister Harris and I ended up singing a song for the funeral. I think we sounded good...

Friday was really cool! We had a few people walk up to us and ask us what we're all about. And one of them wants to be baptized on his birthday in August! We're so excited for him. His fiancé is a less active member, and they're both starting to go to church! We also talked to a young mom who doesn't go to church and wants to find truth, not just go to church. So of course, we invited her to learn more!

Saturday is the reason I have decided that sometimes Oklahoma feels like a 3rd world country. We started off the day by finding out that we have cockroaches. We found them on our clean, drying dishes. That seems like a violation! If there's gotta be cockroaches, couldn't they be on the dirty dishes? But worry not, we cleaned really well and did a treatment for bugs not coming in the house (the elders had a spray thing from last year, we've had problems with spiders too).

Then we go to an appointment, and there was a thousand flies and at least 5 wasps inside the building we were meeting at. A hornet almost landed on my shoulder. Not the most comforting place to be in. Especially since I'm SUPER afraid of bees of any kind. Usually I start flailing, screaming, and doing some odd ninja moves.

I held it together though, and the investigator we met with really felt the spirit, and came to church the next day!!! But after that appointment I was really wound up and stressed, so we went and got a glass of water. Then we went to our next appointment. While we were there, we sat on a couch full of bedbugs. We then went back to our apartment and checked our bags and clothes. I really don't want bedbugs... But it's an epidemic in Talihina. They're not the worst that could happen though.

Then that evening I had to remove a tick from Sister Harris. The poor thing didn't know how to remove them and I only heard what not to do. So I did everything that people say to remove one. By taking a lighter to it and rubbing alcohol on it. It worked! It came off with its head and all! Sister Harris may or may not have a burn mark on her. But the tick is gone!! 

Sunday was an adventure too! We were really worried because we were planning on having 6 investigators at church this week (all of them came!!!!!!!) and it was branch conference. They're a little different from normal meetings and it was all of their first times, so we were praying that they would feel the spirit and feel good about it all.

Then another thing we were worried about was scouts. And that worry manifested itself by giving us over 50 scouts! So we had 109 people at church, when we told our investigators that we usually have 30. But there was a huge miracle! One of them was the young mother, and she was able to be in the nursery with her son and a member and they talked about the church and made friends. Some of the investigators were kids with their mom (she's a member, starting to come back to church), so they were in primary.

We had been asked a few weeks ago to help with singing time in primary, so we took Tommy (who's 25) with us into primary. He had the option to go to the adult section, but he was nervous, so he just listened to primary stuff. It was actually the best thing ever! Heavenly Father really has a plan for all of us! Tommy needed to be in Primary, he had many cool experiences. He had an answer to a question he had (why do we have to go to church, I can worship and study on my own). He heard the beautiful primary songs, and the silly ones. He just needed to be there, so Heavenly Father made it branch conference and a scout week to make sure that happened!

So we had a great week! And we're going to go do it again! I'm emailing early today because we have a zone outing and we have to travel a distance. I'm sorry, but I can't email people back this week! I love you all! Take care! Don't do anything I wouldn't do!

Love to all,

Sister Elkins  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mosquitoes and Miracles

Monday, June 09, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, I'm glad to report that my sweat glands and pores are fully functioning. They still work in hot, humid weather. You know you've had a good day’s work, is when you get home and change clothes you could wring your sweaty clothes out. I've decided that I like hot weather. Hot weather is nice. But humidity. I can live without that. That can just go away in stay in a corner somewhere. 

I also learned that bugs are just starting to come out! How that is possible I'm not sure. But they are now fully out and ready to play. Yaya!.....NOT! I found out this week that I'm allergic to mosquito bites. When I get by them they would swell, then turn into these purple and black bruises. It looks like Sister Harris is beating me.

Good thing I'm not in a place where there are lots of mosquitoes or anything. Otherwise that might be hard....jk I just have to use tons of bug spray...lots and lots of it. 
That's my dealings of this strange new land of Talihina. 

I have to tell you about this amazing experience I had with some investigators. Before I get into it, I have to remind you a few things about me.

First of all, as most of you know I'm TERRIBLE at memorizing stuff. It's a REAL challenge of for me, something that I have always struggled with.

For the last two weeks I have been working on memorizing Joseph Smith's first prayer. I had been working on it every chance that I got. To the point that I think I was getting on Sister Harris’ nerves a bit.

Which is all good. It will teach her patience. lol Which is already has, because she's dealing with me. :)
Anyways, as much as I have been working on it, I still couldn't get it down. 

Now back to the investigators, we had entered their home and see that they had been watching the "Finding Faith In Christ" movie. That they just found in their apartment. They had no idea that it was one of the church movies. What was so awesome about it was that the spirit was already there! The inviting of the spirit was already taken place. 

Right off the bat, the first thing Dax says to us is "Tell me about Joseph Smith". I knew what was going to happen. I was going to share that scripture that I had been working so hard on memorizing.

My companion wanted me to tell them the story of Joseph Smith, because she knew that I had a special relationship with the story. I said a prayer in my heart that I wouldn't stutter, and that I would be able to share that scripture that I had memorized with them.

I began the story of Joseph Smith. Right as I opened my mouth, I could feel my nervousness leave my body. I felt calm and I knew that the Spirit was there.

I told them that Joseph Smith was a young boy, who was looking for the one true church. That he had opened his scripture to James 1:5. Looking for answers, when he read that verse saying "If any of you lack Wisdom let them ask of God".

I told them that Joseph Smith did what that said and went out to a grove of trees. Got on his knees and prayed to Heavenly Father. Then came the part of sharing that scripture, the moment had come for me to share it. 

16 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
 17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I sawtwo Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description,standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My BelovedSon. Hear Him!

As I opened my mouth, I felt the Spirit enter that room with such force. I shared that scripture for the first time, being able to say it without any problems. I said it with power and looked them in the eye. Wanting them to know what I felt towards Joseph Smith. That he really saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

I had Goosebumps all over me and as I spoke I knew that they could feel the Spirit there. They had tears in their eyes and knew what I spoke was true. 

I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I know that what took place in that grove of trees was truly a special experience. I've been in that grove of trees. I know what took place there really happened.

I'm so grateful for Joseph Smith for bringing about the restoration of the gospel. For translating the Book Of Mormon. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and helped me memorize that scripture so I can share His message. I'm truly blessed and watched over. How great is this work!!! 

Love to all!

Sister Elkins