Sister Elkins

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