Sister Elkins

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!!!!!!!! 

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