Sunday, March 27, 2016

Between company (family – which we love to have visit) and the dentist (which we do not love to visit) we have not had as many missionary visits as we would like.  But we have experienced God’s love for His children.  We (Sister Elkington) baked a birthday cake for a boy on the Shivwits Reservation and banana nut bread for a couple of families which we visited.
We visited a blind member this week who told us he has been blind for fifteen years.  His home was clean and neat.  He told us he listens to audio books and television programs.  We offered assistance if he needs help or a ride, but he said he manages just fine.  We left a prayer, a message and a loaf of banana nut bread in his home and left with gratitude in our hearts for our sight. We are so blessed – the problems we deal with are minor compared to those many experience.
We took “T” to his anger management class at the Purgatory Correctional Facility.  He told us he looks forward all week to Tuesday when he can spend time with us (and go out to eat at a restaurant with us).  He continues to make progress and stick with the commitments he has made to himself.  We consider it a blessing to be part of his support group.
We continue to work at the Heritage Park Branch garden with Sister “M’s” grandchildren.  It remains to be seen what produce we get from the garden, but we hope it is producing better people.  It gives us a lot of time to interact with these children that we love like family.
We met with Sister “M’s” grandchildren with the elders on Friday and taught a lesson on the atonement.  We encouraged everyone to attend Church on Sunday – the grandfather sat in on the lesson and committed to bring the children – which he did! (That is progress, because this is his first time to attend Church while we have been visiting/teaching the family).
We are still distributing clothing to Native American children on the Reservatiom and in the Branch.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

WEEK ENDING 3/20/2016
Elder and Sister Elkington
Monday and Tuesday of this week was devoted to service.  We received a lot of clothing from family in Draper.  Nicole sent several large leaf bags full of girls clothing.  Sister Elkington spent Monday (supposedly our p-day) and much of Tuesday sorting through the clothes and ironing them (including about 30 dresses).  Monday evening we had the younger girls from the Reservation come to our home choosing clothing – they had a marvelous time, and the clothing will enable them to look dressed up when they go to Church. Tuesday evening the older girls from the Reservation came with their grandmother Sister “M” to choose clothing.  Then when we took them back to their home, Sister “M” asked if she could talk to us about a serious family problem she was dealing with. She said she just needed to confide with us about a problem that was troubling her about her family.  She discussed the problem and she said she felt we had been called as missionaries to help her and her family. She acknowledged how much help she felt she has received from us and from the Lord. We told her we regarded her as part our family!
We needed to go to Kaysville to obtain some papers needed for taxes.  Tuesday afternoon we took “T” to his anger management class at the Purgatory Correctional Facility.  Then we took him to a restaurant for dinner.  While we visited with him, he told us he had to go to Pleasant Grove, Utah for a court appearance Thursday morning.  We told him we were going to northern Utah on Wednesday and would return Thursday afternoon.  We offered him a ride and he readily accepted the offer.   We listened to and discussed CDs as we rode and we had a prayer before the trip each day. We found what many parents have learned – it is easier to teach when you are driving because you have a captive audience with no outside distractions.  We encouraged “T” to meet with the branch president about receiving his patriarchal blessing – he received a recommend and used our phone to schedule an appointment.  He then invited us to go with him when he receives the blessing.
On Friday we met with Sister “M’s” family and gave them a lesson on the events surrounding the birth of Christ and the events surrounding his death and resurrection.  We used a video and discussed it as we watched – the children gave rapt attention to what was depicted and discussed. Victor has decided he wants to be baptized.  This will probably take place in April. It is amazing what cookies and love can accomplish – in conjunction with some good teaching by the elders!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

13 March 2016

13 MARCH 2016
What a privilege it is to be a missionary and wear a missionary name tag in the Utah St George Mission.  People are always greeting us and expressing love and support.  On Saturday evening we stopped at Lin’s Grocery Store for some last minute groceries.  As we went in the store, a young woman came rushing up to Sister Elkington and hugged her while exclaiming, “I love missionaries – I just got released from my mission last night and had to take my name tag off. I already miss it so much!”
Three of Sister “M’s” grandchildren lost their mother in January.  They worried that no one would provide clothing and shoes for them. We assured them they would not go in need.  This week the Branch President gave us a Bishop’s Order to the Deseret Industries to obtain clothing for these children (Two girls ages 7& 10 and one boy age 11).  It took hours trying to help each child get what they needed/wanted (not always the same). But the service provided was meaningful.
This week we took two of the boys from the Shivwits Reservation to the Heritage Park Branch garden to plant some seeds and to help fix the fence to make it rabbit-proof. That may be an oxymoron – I’m not sure there is such a thing as a rabbit-proof fence!
We made our weekly trip to the Purgatory Correctional Facility to give “T” a ride to his anger management class.  He is struggling with his living arrangements, and needs to find an apartment.  On the bright side - he obtained a recommend for a Patriarchal Blessing.  We told him we would be happy to take him for his Patriarchal Blessing.  It is a privilege we would not miss!  “T” is a priority in our lives right now – we want to ensure he has a support system that will enable him to be successful in his goal to transform his life to “live in the light.” We gave him a slightly used leather bound quad set of scriptures – he was thrilled!
We invited the missionaries in our district to have a breakfast district meeting in our home.  This took place on Wednesday.  It took a lot of effort, but it was worth it.  We love these young missionaries and the senior couples. We want to do all we can to buoy them up and support them.
On Friday we had two of the boys from the Reservation to our home to make home-made pizza.  They have been asking for a cooking class since we had the girls to one.  It was a great success and we showed a video to them on the last week of Jesus’ life.  This led to a great discussion on the atonement and the resurrection.  They want to see a follow up video on the resurrection.
Sister Elkington’s daughter, Nicole, sent us bags of clothing for children.  We have been sorting through them to determine which items will fit which of the children on the Reservation.  Some of the clothing is new and still carries the store price tag.  We have already given some to one of the girls –she is so thrilled with the clothes. We gave her a ride to Church and then fed her and gave her some clothes.
We are not thrilled to be going on daylight saving time - what we need is night saving time so we can get some more sleep!  In spite of the hectic schedule, we love the work – it is a privilege to be in the service of Our Father in Heaven and His children!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

6 March 2016
Elder and Sister Elkington
The first of the week Sister Elkington  was still recovering from the tooth extraction. However, we still were blessed with some choice experiences.
On Monday we took 3 of Sister M’s granddaughters to the branch garden to assist in planting early vegetables.  We are gardening with this family to teach them how to garden.  As we rode to the garden 7 year old Krystin (whose mother died in January) said, “Sister Elkington, when I grow up I want to be just like you!” We have tried to be an example worthy of emulating.  So you can imagine how gratified we felt to hear that comment.
On Tuesday, we took “T” to his anger management class at the Purgatory Correctional Facility.  As we were leaving the jail area we saw a woman dressed in spiked high heels walking away from the jail.  Afterhaving heard a man relate how he was released from jail in the late afternoon and had walked back to St George, we assumed the woman was in the same circumstances.  We knew she could not walk to St George with those high heels, so we pulled over and asked if she needed a ride.  She gratefully accepted our offer and said we could drop her off any place in St George.  We found she lived in the Tonaquint area, so we drove her to her home.  As she got out of the car, Elder Elkington said, “Remember, Your Father in Heaven knows you and He loves you!”  We then took “T” to dinner.  After dinner we had a discussion with him about the responsibilities of the various offices in the priesthood. Then we dropped him off at the 12-step meeting place.
Wednesday was consumed by a LAH (Live at Home) Missionary Zone Conference in LaVerkin.  The conference provided us a lift to our spirits and some great ideas to help us be more receptive to the Spirit of God as we do missionary work.  Pr Eves of the LaVerkin Stake talked about the questions we should ask that enable God to provide direction to our labors.  Basically, we need to ask and contemplate on the question, “Who would be most likely to…?” Then be receptive to the promptings of the spirit – and act on those promptings.  He said the names that will come to our minds may defy logic – but act upon the promptings!  We have already felt impressed to call on people, only to find later why God wanted us to call on them.
On Friday we had a lesson with Sister “M”’s family and talked about the importance of attending Church.  We have promised the children we would take them to eat at a buffet restaurant if they attend Church 5 times consecutively.  It appears a couple of them have about qualified.  Today Sis “M” brought eight of the children to Church – including 2 who are eight or over who have not been baptized and who have not attended Church before.  The nine year old, “V” said, “I only have to attend 2 more times and I can get baptized.”  We had about decided he was not interested in being baptized.
We picked up a nice easy chair from the Deseret Industries and took it to Sister “M’s” home during the week.  The home is much more habitable than it used to be.  It makes us happy to do things for this family – we regard them as part of our family!
We find great joy in doing God’s work! Our hands are His hands!