Sister Elkins

Sister Elkins

Monday, April 28, 2014

My First Area. I Swear I Am in Another World.

Dear Family and Friends,

Going on a mission is a lot like dying. I've died and came to be with Jesus Christ. I'm no longer the person I was before my mission. I've been reborn through Jesus Christ. By becoming a personal representative of Jesus Christ, I've never known Heavenly Father as much as I do now. I rely on him for EVERY single thing I do. Big or small. I rely on him. I have such trust in HIM.

I may not get the lessons down. I may have sunburn, or poison oak. I may not be used to the heat or the long hours. But I know that my Heavenly Father is carrying me. When I'm at my weakest, He's there to make me stronger.

There's this poem that I heard on Sunday, it says:
"Good timber does not grow with ease,
the stronger the wind, the stronger trees
The further sky, the greater length.
The more the storm,                                                             the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
in trees and men good timbers grow."

Only Heavenly Father knows the depths of our trials, our pain, and our suffering. He alone offers us eternal peace in times of adversity. He alone touches our tortured souls with his comforting words: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, HE is with us. He has promised that. 
Family and Friends may we strive to be close to our Heavenly Father. We truly need HIM every hour, whether they be hours of sunshine or of rain. 
Downtown Talihina, OK
Well, I'm in my first area! It's in Talihina, OK [population 1,211]. What a place to be too! It's in the Choctaw nation. It's in the middle of nowhere, and I do mean in the middle of nowhere! Out in the woods, with the bears, snakes, mountain lions, chiggers, ticks, flies. The nearest Walmart is two hours away.

The town is very, very rundown and small. The people here are sweet and nice. They truly make me thankful for everything I have. They don't have much here, as they don't have work much here. It's mostly people that are living on disability and are retired. 

My area is 80 miles long! There is a VERY small branch here. There are 200 members in my area, but only 20 active members.

My role as a missionary here is to reactive the less active. We have a lot of work ahead of us. But, I'm looking forward to it. I already have an investigator with a baptismal date. For May 15th, his name is Lester. He's an older gentle soul. I'm super excited for him. On Saturday, we taught him the Word of Wisdom. He's going to quit cold turkey. I'm so happy for him!

I love being a missionary!! I love you all so much! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hello From the MTC!

Hello Family and Friends!!! 

I want all of you to know that I love this gospel so much. I have a better understanding of my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I feel so honored to wear his name everyday. I know that Jesus Christ died on the cross for ME! And for you too.

I can't even began to tell you how thankful I am to have it in my life. Being at the MTC, I get to have a better understanding of just how wonderful this gospel really is. 
To start things off, about being here at the MTC, I love it here!!!!!!! I really do!! I don't want to go next week!

 I believe that the name tag on the missionaries chest is a badge of kindness. Everywhere I go, everyone always says "hi" or are there to help me out. I truly feel a kinship with the missionaries here.

I have two companions, Sister Oliva (From Maryland, Washington D.C.) and Sister Barrett is from Highland, Utah. I get along with them so well. We work so well as a companions. I don't mind that I'm stuck with them 24/7. 

As for my district. I love them! They are like a family to me. From the moment we all met we became a strong, together, district. There's only 4 Elders in my district. They are between the ages of 18 and 19. They may be young, but their testimony of the gospel is way beyond their years. I really admire them. They are always looking for ways to serve and look out for us. 

The food here is crazy! They have just about everything you could ever want! Like Milk Rootbeer! I never tried it, but the Elders love it. lol 

Last night Elder Neil A. Anderson from the 12 Apostles came and talked to us. It was amazing!! We got to question him and have discussions with him. Also Sunday, we will have ANOTHER member of the 12 Apostles come speak to us.

Which, I just so happen to be leading the choir for that! I somehow ended up with the calling of Music coordinator. Not sure how that happened. They think I lead music so well, and I know a lot about music. lol 

 I'm now in charge of a choir and running the music program here. I think the first day I freaked out and had no clue what I'm doing. Now I know that GOD just wants me to know how to lead, and do it by having me lead in front of an apostle. I don't know yet which apostle that will come on Sunday. I'm sure it will be great....maybe..

My days are long here at the MTC. It's from Sun-up to Sundown. I've never been so busy in my life! Even P-day's are crazy! Today, I get to go to the temple. I'm really looking forward to that! 

Heavenly Father knew what he was doing by having me serve a mission. I can feel the angels of the Lord watching over me. Already they've literally saved my life! I'm so thankful that I'm worthy and the God saw fit that I am to be saved. I wish I can have the words to tell you how amazing this gospel is. I love it!! 

Well, my time is up.  Miss you and love you!

[Note from Jackie's mom] Jackie will be in the MTC until the 23rd of April and would love hearing from you!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It's Official. I am Sister Elkins!

Well, the big day has finally arrived. Tomorrow I embark on a new adventure. All though, I believe half the adventure is packing everything you could possibly need in the next 18 months into two suitcases is no easy feat. Not only do I have to somehow get everything to fit, but it all has to weigh less than 50 pounds!! I kind of wished I had some clowns to help me pack; they seem to be the experts on how to fit things into small places. Sadly, I didn't know any clowns available to help me out.

Good thing I have years of practice playing Tetris, it all came down to what do I need the most and how to make it fit just so. By the time I was done packing, I couldn't help but jump in the air with one fist thrust into the air. I felt like I just defeated the packing dragon.

Things became very real for me that I was leaving when I saw the Stake President to be set apart to be a missionary. I couldn't decide if I should be nervous or excited.

I do know this. I was called to serve in the great land of Tulsa, Oklahoma for a reason. I know that my Heavenly Father has a plan for me. That I’m going out to Tulsa Mission, to find those lost sheep. I can’t wait to share my faith and bring hope to those who are in darkness and looking for the light of Christ.

 I couldn't be happier than I am right now. I know I’ll experience so many things on my mission. I can’t wait to get started!!!