Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hey everyone!

Tomorrow is the dayyyyy!!! I will get set apart just before 7 pm and then get to head out to Utah just a day and a half later :)

Here are my email and my address for while I'm staying at the Provo MTC until I either leave for Brazil, or get temporarily reassigned to somewhere in the States (stupid visa...).

Sister Emilie Anne Elkins
Brazil Porto Alegre South Mission
Provo Missionary Training Center
2003 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604

emilie.elkins@myldsmail.net


I love you all, and will see you in a year and a half!! <3


< 3  < 3   < 3   Sister E m i l i e   E l k i n s   < 3   < 3   < 3

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Temptation.



So, in my last post, I explained why my going on a mission has been delayed and now I want to tell you what has followed me since that . . . depressing decision.  

I've heard people say that once you've decided to go on a mission, Satan tempts you like none other!  And then I've also heard people say that when missions are put on hold, even for a month or two, that the temptation becomes much, much stronger as there is that much more time for him to dissuade you from spreading the Word.  Honestly - and don't hate me for this - I never believed this.  For some reason, over the years I have had the impression that everyone exaggerates their trials.  Now I have developed this opinion over the span of many years and by going through many experiences where even close friends have lied to and manipulated me.  Because of this, I started to assume that peoples' lives and, if I may, even the world itself is not as bad as people make it out to be.  I am willing to admit that, unfortunately, I became cynical and disbelieving. 

<<I promise I'm getting to the point!>>  

On Facebook, I am a member of a group called "Many are Called . . . but Few are Sisters." This is a group with more than 12.000 members, keep in mind.  Every day there are dozens of posts detailing how hard of a time these girls have been having withstanding the temptations and trials that have been put in their ways.  Ever since I had joined the group, I had been getting really annoyed with all of these "woe to me" posts, thinking that they just have to be exaggerating everything.  However, lately I've been experiencing the exact same problem.  

Just like those people said, once I decided to go on a mission, it became harder and once I had to delay the mish, the temptations have become much, much stronger.  Oh I've gone through trials and temptations before and yes they were a lot and it was hard to get through them, but this now feels different.  Knowing that I'm going on a mission and I have to be worthy puts a whole other dimension on this situation.  I'm not going to go into detail at all, but I just want to tell you that it is very hard to withstand.  When the world is filled with so much evil and even your dreams are filled with Satan's designs to make you stray, it is very hard.  But at the same time, it has helped to strengthen my testimony.  I feel like all the trials and temptations building up against me are only proof of the truth of the gospel.  If the Church was not true, then why would there be so many forces trying to tear it down? Let me just say that I am so excited for these next months to pass so that I can be able to go out in the world and teach others about the goodness of the gospel.

Before I leave, I want to share with you guys a picture that is very near and dear to my heart.  


It does not matter where or how you get stuck - Christ will always be there to pull you out.  

< 3  < 3   < 3   E m i l i e   E l k i n s   < 3   < 3   < 3 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Timing.

Hi everyone!

So I've been having a bunch of people asking me when I was planning on putting in my papers and, eventually, going on my mission.  I thought that this was a good medium to share my thoughts with you all regarding what has been going on.

I'm not going to lie, the timing of everything is a hard topic for me to talk about.  Originally I was planning on leaving in June and putting my papers in early February, but something has come up that required me to hold off on leaving.  For the past couple months, my face has been breaking out - majorly.  Like seriously bad enough that my parents became a little worried and that I was - am - embarrassed to even go out in public.  Which is really sad…
:(
I ended up going to the doctors office for it and was prescribed Accutane. If you guys know anything about this medicine it is probably that it is super strong and can cause major birth defects to your child if you get pregnant while on it.  It is so intense that I had to sign up for a governmental program and will have blood and pregnancy tests each month for the six or so months while I am on it.

So here is the point of all of this:

I can't quite go on my mission yet.

And this is how I feel right now:


http://farm1.staticflickr.com/56/175036997_fbccf7c935_o.jpg


But I know that there must be a reason why the Lord wouldn't want me going out yet!  This is all about His timing and not mine.

Actually, I have a funny story about this whole thing.

So when I was starting my papers, I kept wanting to put my availability date as my birthday - June 9.  I wanted to go out the absolute moment that I possibly could.  However, I kept having this feeling that I shouldn't go until September.  SEPTEMBER!!! That was sooooo far away!  But get this.  In six months from today (when I finish Accutatne) it'll be September.  All along I kept having this feeling that I had to wait, and NOW I KNOW WHY!! Isn't that crazy??  I just love the gospel!



<3 <3 <3 Emilie Elkins <3 <3 <3

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Missionary? Who, me?

Hi everyone!

I guess this is kind of my way of announcing to the world that I have officially decided on serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! Surprise! Today I had my first meeting with the Bishop (the Mormon version of a Pastor or a Minister) of my local church and have officially kick-started the process of putting in my papers to be a missionary!

For my friends reading this who are not LDS, I just want to explain what all of this means for me.  In our church, young people are given the choice to serve a mission somewhere in this world and teach others about our religion.  And when I say "somewhere in this world" I literally mean anywhere! I have had friends go to Ghana in Africa, many go to Brazil or Ecuador in South America, lots more go throughout Europe and Asia, and even more spread across the United States.  Men serve for 2 years, while women serve for 18 months.  Now, almost a year and a half ago, there was a huge announcement in our church regarding missionary service!  Before, the age requirement for men was 19 years and girls 21 years.  As of October of 2012, those age requirements were lowered drastically! Well, at least for the girls :) Now, we are given the chance to go out and serve a full two years earlier than we could before! (Age 19 for those of you who don't like math ;) )

I can't even begin to express to you the excitement and happiness I felt when I heard this announcement!  While serving a mission is a requirement for men, it is not the same for women.  It is recommended and put out there as an option, but it is a very personal decision for each girl.  Honestly, I have always felt that I should serve a mission. I remember years ago as a little girl in my sunday school class being asked if I wanted to serve.  The immediate answer that came to both my heart and my mind was YES!!! However, 21 seemed so old and so far away, so I never really thought that it would be possible, that something would come up and make me change my mind.  I mean, a LOT can happen before you're 21!

This is where the mission age change comes in!

When I heard the announcement that women could serve a full two years earlier, it seemed as if my mind had already been made up.  My eyes filled with tears and my heart seemed to swell.  Every time I think back to that special time, those same feelings fill my being and I just know that this is what I am supposed to do!

I know the way that I have described this seems like it was an easy process.  It was! I honestly knew that this was what I was supposed to do, but it was also the hardest decision I have had to ever make in my life.  Missionary work takes a lot out of you.  Not just physically, but mentally and spiritually as well.  It is also a very special and sacred work.  We go out into the world and preach the word of Christ to those who are seeking for truth. Because of the importance of missionary work, there are a lot of forces in this world that try to hinder and destroy our progress.  The week following my initial decision to serve was very hard on me.  It seemed as if everything started to go wrong! School seemed impossible, I seemed to be getting sick all of the time, and I just seemed to lose so much energy and excitement.  It was very, very hard for me.   I started to doubt myself - in my ability to teach and even to talk to people! (If you know me at all, you will know that I am really shy and quiet when you first meet me.)  But then I had a bunch of really special people wake me up from this.  My roommates, friends, and parents were absolutely amazing! I know many of them don't realize what they did for me, but I will always be grateful for the positive influences they have had on my life. <3

So, I guess this is all leading up to my absolutely FINAL decision! I am serving a mission!

These past few months at BYU have been amazing for me.  They have really strengthened me as a person and as a follower of Christ.  My testimony of Him has never been stronger than it is right now and I am so grateful for the chance to be able to share it with others.  Honestly, I know that the topic of religion is kind of taboo in today's world and I know that religion can be considered . . . weird, but I just want to tell you guys how important it is to me.  It has brought me through my darkest days and it has helped me through my hardest times.  This gospel is beautiful to me.  It is pure, it is life-changing, and it is freeing.  It fills me with a light and feeling of hope and joy that I cannot find anywhere else.

If you want to learn more, please visit mormon.org! Or feel free to message/text/talk to me!

<3 <3 <3 Emilie Elkins <3 <3 <3


P.S. This is an amazing video that tells us more about the tender mercies, or the amazing blessings that we have been given by our Father. If you have an extra couple minutes, please watch this! It is an amazing video and definitely made me think more about what I have been given :)